For James Bailey, Director at The Centre in Livingston, West Lothian is a great place to work, do business and enjoy downtime with the family.
“I moved north from Bristol in 2010 to head up the team at The Centre which incorporates over 160 retailers and restaurants. It’s a fantastic shopping centre in a thriving community that attracts visitors from across Scotland.”
The Centre, based in the heart of Livingston enjoys an annual footfall of over 12.5 million a year – it consistently outperformed the Scottish Retail Footfall Index throughout 2012.
“Retail is a dynamic – it doesn’t stand still and that’s what I love most about working at The Centre, Livingston. There is no shortage of businesses wishing to locate here and benefit from being part of Scotland’s best shopping experience. Shop occupancy rates in The Centre far exceed the Scottish average of 89.8% (West Lothian Economic Update, May 2013)
I meet regularly with the big name multiples as well as local start-up businesses and the same key themes emerge time after time.
Retail and leisure performances are strong, there is a solid loyal catchment that continues to grow year on year.
West Lothian has great business community support from organisations such as West Lothian Council, Business Gateway and The Chamber.
There is much more to West Lothian than people think.”
James goes on to say; “That’s why I got actively in involved with Visit West Lothian - to help raise the profile of the area and what it can offer visitors and members of the community.
It’s a very attractive package and we are beginning to see the fruits of our labour with the annual visitor numbers up by 5%, and being ranked top of all mainland local councils in Scotland in terms of day visitor growth in last year.
“Business is strong despite the national doom and gloom. It isn’t hard to see why; the people of West Lothian love their community and love shopping. Our catchment is growing and we can adapt our offer quickly to meet market conditions.
On a personal front, when business is doing well it’s easier to relax after a day at work and my family and I love our new Scottish lifestyle - the wide open spaces, the easy commute and the fact that there is so much to do. We can be at Five Sisters Zoo with the children within minutes or take a step back in time at Linlithgow Palace really easily – I’ve even started rearing chickens in the garden – it’s a very good life here in West Lothian”.