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Businesses shut up shop
A PASTY shop and a pub have closed their doors in Salisbury, adding to the number of empty units in the city centre.
West Cornwall Pasty Company shop closed on Wednesday, leaving three empty units in a row in Butcher Row, following the closure of its neighbour Coffee Mocha a few months ago, and Hawkins Bazaar toy shop last year.
The offices above the premises are also empty.
The Chough pub, in Blue Boar Row, closed on Sunday and the building has been sold for redevelopment.
Lowri Eastgate from West Cornwall Pasty Company said: “Like all hospitality businesses, we regularly review our property portfolio and following a review we decided to close Salisbury.
There were no redundancies as a result of the closure.”
Steve Dauwalder, from La Mollina restaurant, which is also on Butcher Row, said high parking charges are to blame for a lack of footfall in the city.
“Footfall in Salisbury has dropped considerably over the last two years – from when the parking charges went up,” he said.
“We also noticed last summer when the central car park lost its power for a few weeks, footfall shot up. “Increasing numbers of empty shops and charity shops have a direct impact on footfall, which in turn has an impact on the ongoing business of the shops that remain.”
Graham Gould, from Salisbury City Centre Management, said: “Our view on parking charges is that they are too high.
We need to be more competitive than we are and we need to be able to compete with places like Winchester and Southampton.
“We are talking and working with Wiltshire Council until we get them reduced. I don’t think they are the only reason but they are certainly a key factor.”
He added: “Times are hard in Salisbury but it’s certainly not doom and gloom. There are a number of signs that business is picking up.”
Jon Osgood, general manager of the Old George Mall, said clothing chain H&M is likely to open its Salisbury store in the mall at the end of October.
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