TWO book lovers are breathing new life into a 70-year-old book store in Wotton under Edge.

Cathy and Gideon York took over the Cotswold Book Room on Long Street earlier this year, with a vision of creating a new independent bookshop for the town.

“We want to give Wotton an independent book shop that they can be proud of and that complements the other fantastic shops on the street,” said Cathy.

Cathy and Gideon have been refurbishing the shop since taking it over in February. It is already open for customer orders and collection and they plan to open fully over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

“The opportunity arose to purchase the bookshop from the previous owners and we decided to take it,” said Cathy.

“It’s taken a leap of faith, but we are both still working in our existing jobs while we get the bookshop up and running. Gideon is a nuclear engineer and I am a nurse, and plan to continue with those jobs for the foreseeable future alongside running the shop.”

Seventy years old this year, The Cotswold Book Room was started in some rooms in a house in Old Town before it moved to the current shop, where the previous owners ran it for 35 years.

“The refurbishment is nearly finished now and although the previous owners did a great job with the shop we really felt it needed updating and refreshing.

“It has taken a little longer than planned, partly due to a global pandemic, but also because we recognised that we want to get it right,” said Cathy.

“We plan to run it very much as an independent book store so the focus will be much more about the books.

“We have designed the space so there is a whole room given over to children, and the front room will have space to run book groups and events.

“We have designed in some seating and plan to serve refreshments on an ad hoc basis.

“We don’t want to be a café, but recognise that people like to come to bookshops for an experience and a place to enjoy.

“We have had so much support and interest already and we’re really excited to get the shop open.”