TRADERS in Radcliffe town centre are experiencing a recession-busting boost in sales — thanks to a new health centre.

Shop bosses have credited the area’s revival to Radcliffe Primary Care Centre, which opened in Church Street West in February.

Four GP practices and a range of other health services are already based there, with more to come later in the year, bringing hundreds of patients into the area.

And the upturn in business has been so pronounced that three new shops have recently opened.

Richard Dandy, owner of Richard Anthony Jewellers and chairman of Radcliffe Traders’ Group, said: “We are supposed to be going through a recession, but business is going well in Radcliffe. We seem to be bucking the trend.

“It’s definitely been better since the new medical centre opened. Our customers are loyal, but we are seeing a lot of new faces as well.”

In the last few weeks, three shops have opened in Church Street West after a refurbishment of the units. Eleven apartments above the shops are due to be completed shortly.

One of the new businesses is furniture shop, Nuvo Interiors, which opened three weeks ago.

Managing director Grahame Albinson said: “I’m really excited about being in Radcliffe. The passing trade is phenomenal and I have had some good orders since I moved in.

“The area has really moved forward since the medical centre opened. I’m really glad that I chose to open my business here.”

Kay Waqar, from Bargain Beer in Church Street West, opened health and beauty shop Body Zone next door on Friday.

She said: “This is something I have wanted to do for a while and now seemed like the right time. Business has been much better at Bargain Beer since the health centre opened.”

The third new business is white goods shop Half Retail Price, which was previously based in a unit across the road.

Manager Gary Fern said: “We only opened 13 months ago but quickly found we needed to expand. We are really pleased with how business is going.”

Stephen Mills, chief executive of NHS Bury, said: “It is really encouraging that Radcliffe Primary Care Centre is bringing broader benefits to the local community.

“Right from the start of the build project, we strived to ensure that the centre would bring local economic benefits.

“It is estimated that over £3 million was fed back into the local economy through a combination of sustainable employment and the purchase of construction materials. We are delighted it is continuing to contribute, particularly in the current economic climate.”

Influential business lobby group, CBI, recently revealed that 47 per cent of high street retailers had reported a fall in sales volumes over the past year, with just 32 per cent recording an increase.