Colchester much-loved independent businesses say their location is the key to their success.

The South Lanes Project, with a vision of boosting business in Sir Isaac’s Walk and Eld Lane, is gaining traction fast.

Sir Isaac’s Walk veterans, Frippery, says the area is perfect for small businesses.

Clare Oakey, from the chic homeware shop, said: “We have been in the town for 15 years. We feel Sir Isaac’s Walk and Eld Lane lend themselves to small independents.

“We have tried to move with the times but it is a challenge and people’s buying habits are changing but we always look for new things and we try to get more artisan things you can’t get online.” The shopping area is renowned for its quirky products.

Jez Dixon, from Best Days Vintage in Eld Lane, said it was the best place to work.

He said: “We’ve been trading for almost six years and we love Eld Lane because it’s where all the quirky independent shops are.

“There’s a real sense of community among the stores here and we feel it’s the part of the town centre with the most character.”

Newcomers like gift shop Bill and Bert’s in Sir Isaac’s Walk are already feeling the sense of community.

Bill Nettelfield, who runs the shop, said: “We love this part of town. It has a family spirit about it and all the retailers get on well with each other.”

Another hotspot for independent businesses is Red Lion Yard, part of Lion Walk shopping centre.

Owners of gift and homeware store Dear Grace moved in recently having spent months looking at various locations.

Victoria Johnson said: “We agreed Colchester was definitely where we wanted to be. The vision for the future of the town is looking amazing.

“We loved the atmosphere of Red Lion Yard and beautiful shop facades.

“Whilst we are in the centre of the town and part of a much larger arcade, along side the likes of Primark and Marks and Spencer, our little yard is like a village.

“Everyone who works there or has businesses there truly goes the extra mile.”