FROM the Boat Race to rugby’s Varsity Match, there has always been fierce competition between Oxford and Cambridge.

But now our Fenland rival has a toe-hold in the very heart of the City of Dreaming Spires, after one of its best known businesses ‘bagged’ a spot among our oldest colleges.

The Cambridge Satchel Company, which already has a store at Bicester Village, has a new base in Broad Street – opposite those bastions of Oxford ‘gown’ life, Balliol and Trinity.

The company said the store, a former leather shoemakers and book binders, which is split across five floors, underlined the business’s clasic heritage design. It stocks its full collection from satchels to totes, plus an exclusive Oxford Blue range. It also features two rooms for seasonal customer events. Each room is painted in a distinctive palette from oxblood, to royal blue, racing green and soft pink.

Company boss Julie Deane, said: “With our hometown of Cambridge, we have always had an affinity with university cities. Just a stone’s throw from Oxford’s famous colleges and the Bodleian Library, the location of our new shop makes perfect sense. We were thrilled to discover what a rich history our shop has had in Oxford history – previously being a leather shoemaker and a leather-bound book specialist dating back to the early 18th century. We are absolutely delighted to be a part of this historical city.”