THINGS may be looking up for York city centre after months of doom and gloom on the high street.

Following the official opening of Flight Centre, in Parliament Street, earlier this month, two more shops have now opened.

Wild & Westbrooke, which opened on Saturday, October 13, in Lendal, stocks a range of British and Irish ladies country wear brands, including Fairfax & Favor, Holland Cooper and Dubarry.

In more welcome news, the shop vacated earlier this year by Cloggs, in St Sampson’s Square, re-opened recently as Size?, part of the JD Sports brand.

Wild & Westbrooke is an independent family-run concern, set up by Easingwold-based mother and daughter Tanya and Laura Pipes and Laura’s boyfriend Oliver Stirk, who named the business after former places they have lived.

Laura said they came up with the idea about eight months ago: “We identified a gap in the York shopping scene for some popular country brands.

“I was graduating from university and Oliver was looking for something to do once leaving the RAF.

“We secured the premises and took over the lease in July this year and since then have been modernising the shop - with a lot of help from family, friends and local businesses.”

Travel operator Flight Centre launched its 82nd store at 39 Parliament Street at the beginning of October, next door to Marks & Spencer.

In a vote of confidence for the city, head of sales UK, Lucy Clifton, told The Press it had been eyeing a site in the city centre for about three years.

To celebrate its arrival in York, Size? hosted a free event at Spark:York featuring 80s DJ legend Jazzy Jeff.

The first 200 people through the door received a free goodie bag.

There is still a high concentration of vacant shops in Goodramgate and Coney Street, however a recent report for City of York Council, concluded that the city’s economic health is in good shape, with the shop vacancy rate about half the national average.