A city centre independent is appealing for help to stay afloat after scaffolding and empty shops have greatly reduced walk-ins.

Timber Treasures, at 1 High Street, has seen its profits plummet since scaffolding was erected on the empty premises next door, which used to house Burger King.

The shop's usual takings are between £200 and £400 every day, according to owner David Gladden.

On Monday (September 6), the shop, which sells handmade wooden gifts, took a total of £66.45.

Minus the cost of stock, VAT, wages, and utilities, this produced a shortfall of more than £100 on the day.

It is the combination of scaffolding and busy traffic that he says is "throttling" the business.

The scaffolding means the shop cannot be seen until people are "almost upon it" and the traffic on High Street makes it difficult for pedestrians to cross the road.

The 69-year-old said: "Novichok dealt us a bad blow. Covid knocked us clean off the floor, but we were coming back a bit, and then the scaffolding went up about a month ago.

"We have no footfall. It has destroyed our turnover. The footfall is only on the pavement, and people notice us and cross the road to us, but it is a river of traffic and noise.

"It's a vile position. I cannot imagine why I took it back in 2010 and I am suffering the consequences."

The retired History teacher pays more than £1000 in rates on the property: "It's too much. We don't get the footfall to justify it, there's all the noise of traffic, and we get added nuisances like the scaffolding."

The second Timber Treasures branch, in Abbey Green in Bath, is doing well, with turnover improving each month since reopening post-lockdown: "Our Bath shop is actually supporting Salisbury at the moment.

"I'm sure I reflect a lot of other businesses' concerns but this scaffolding has made the situation even worse."

Timber Treasures is open from 10am-5pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am-5.30pm on Saturday and 11am-4pm on Sunday.


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