Faringdon is a quintessential market town set on a limestone ridge overlooking the Thames Valley. From afar the town is dominated by Folly Hill and its iconic tower.
Faringdon has a diverse economic base, supporting a range of sectors across approximately 500 businesses including around 60 shops in the town centre. There is a strong sense of entrepreneurial spirit within the town where currently 11% of the town’s resident population work from home based businesses, which is higher than the national average.
Faringdon has benefitted from the creation of a town team, as recommended by the 2011 Portas Review. This team replaced the Joint Economic Forum (JEF) and includes representation from Faringdon Town Council, the Vale Council, Oxfordshire County Council and representation from various business groups. The Town Team employ a Market Town coordinator to deliver a range of projects. The work of the town team is documented in action plans, you can find the latest version via this link Faringdon Action Plan 20
Businesses within Faringdon may be interested in joining the local chamber of commerce. The chamber is a voluntary organisation run by its members; a friendly group of local business people who represent business and professional interest within Faringdon and the surrounding area. Their aim is to support the trading interests of our members and promote the economy of our town and district.
Another business organisation in the area is the Shrivenham 100 Club (SHBC) which is run by a small committee of volunteers who organise an informal free-to-attend meeting during lunch time on the third Thursday of each month (except August & December) for businesses and organisations located in and around the Shrivenham 100 Business Park.
It aims to provide opportunities for members to gain a better understanding of each others’ businesses, exchange ideas and advice and establish stronger links with the local community, with a view to developing synergistic partnerships over both the short and long-term.
SHBC membership and events are free of charge. At each meeting, a guest speaker educates, informs and stimulates ideas and action.
In 2014 Faringdon’s Chamber of Commerce and Town Council jointly commissioned an Economic Development Strategy to help identify the economic issues facing the town, identify its strengths given its location, and identify potential uses for the employment land that is available for development. The strategy is also intended to be used as a basis on which to develop a retail masterplan for the town centre and to develop a commercial prospectus with key marketing messages to promote the available employment sites. The final report can be read here – Economic Development Strategy Final Report.
Faringdon benefits from two hours free car parking in Vale Council car parks every day, and a free public WiFi service that covers the town centre (Market Place).
There are several markets operating in the town centre. The Country Market, based in the Corn Exchange is held on Friday mornings. There’s also a Weekly Market which is held on Tuesdays in the Market Square, and the Saturday Market which operates on the third weekend of every month. The monthly Farmers’ Market is usually held on the first Tuesday.