A mixed-use development has become a hub for independents after attracting nine fledgling firms.

A clothing boutique, handmade lighting company and vintage barbers are among those to take up space on a row of stores on Bristol Street which have undergone major renovation.

More than £2.4 million has been invested by The Gooch Estate to create student accommodation above the locally-listed buildings as well as new retail spaces.

A total of nine of the 11 retail units have been let, with the final two expected to complete shortly following two phases of work on the scheme which has helped to regenerate part of the city’s flourishing Southside district.

Richard Walker, of chartered surveyor Pennycuick Collins, which represented the Estate, said the retail element of the scheme had been assisted by accommodation for 108 students, which has boosted footfall.

The new student block opened last year after a 40-week design and build contract was awarded to Markey Construction.

Mr Walker said: “There are nine leases completed and without tempting fate we are confident of the prospects for the other two.

“They are all independent traders and there is a great mix there, from letting agents to take-away pizza and a vintage barbers.

“Before it was really run down and half of the shops were empty. With the student accommmodation above it, it has helped to regenerate that part of Southside.

“And it looks great now. It’s a nice old Victorian building which has been brought back to life.”

The nine city firms to take space on the Bristol Street scheme are lettings agent Glocal Residential, takeaway Hotstuff Pizza, female clothing firm MiaMaria Boutique, dance retailer Dancique, sports rackets and repairs business Racketline.co.uk, Bristol Cafe, handmade lighting company JamJar Lighting, Vintage Male Barbers Ace Face and Love Hair & Accessories, a hair extension company.