A 'RESILIENT' ladies boutique which has survived two sets of Frideswide Square roadworks over the years will re-open today ready to fight the impending Westgate development.

Rainbow and Spoon Boutique, a mainstay of the city for more than 30 years, closed just before Christmas after its founder June Suliman was taken ill.

Mrs Suliman, 85, is recovering well but won't be returning to the shop and her daughter Amanda Suliman-Bell will open the boutique's doors again this morning.

She said: "I'm delighted to be re-opening. The past few months have been difficult but the support and messages I have had from our loyal customers has been very touching.

"We always used to start the spring season around the second week of March so it's a great time to get back out there.

"The shop has been so resilient over the years and I'm nervous but excited about re-opening."

The boutique has been in Frideswide Square since 1982 when June and husband Sam Suliman set up the shop.

Two decades earlier the couple bought the first fashion collection from India to the UK after they travelled to Jaipur.

They founded their first shop in London - building up a list of celebrity client including David Bowie, Yoko Ono and Joan Collins before moving to Oxford via Cornwall in the early eighties.

In 1998 Frideswide Square underwent a major overhaul with work to install traffic lights and a new two-way system.

But it was the 18-month project in 2015 which threatened to close the shop for good.

She said: "I'm not sure we will ever recover the losses we experienced during the works.

"We managed to hang on and survive but several others in the square, the Mini Station newsagents and La Croissanterie have closed down.

"The county council should have much more for the businesses here during that period, our loyal customers knew we were here but we missed out on so much extra footfall."

Mrs Suliman-Bell will have another fight on her hands once the £440m Westgate shopping centre development opens in October.

But she's backing her business despite the threat of the centre's flagship John Lewis store - which may stock some of the same brands as her boutique.

She said: "We are in a good position by the train station here and on the way into Oxford for many shoppers.

"I'm hoping we will benefit from the increased footfall of the Westgate - getting more people into the city can only be a good thing.

"But small independent businesses need to be protected we don't want Oxford to become a generic city, I worry for those in Cornmarket maybe the empty units there could be used for a collection of independents at a reduced rent."

The shop will open today from 10am to 5.30pm and customers are invited in for a glass of champagne.

It will be open from 10am everyday next week apart from Tuesday.