A MUCH-loved specialist art shop in Salisbury is to cease trading on Saturday after 63 years of business in Crane Street.

The Compleat Artist attracts customers from far and wide, and over the years has become an iconic part of Salisbury, with its quirky character and treasure trove of artists’ materials.

For more than 30 years it was run by Martyn Kennard who took over the shop in 1980 with his wife, Victoria, and was well-known for painting the store in a range of vibrant colours.

After he died in 2013, his three daughters took the decision to continue running the business, with his youngest, Lydia, in charge.

However as none of the three sisters live locally, it has become too logistically challenging for the family.

Lydia, an oil painting restorer in London, said: "I have treasured every minute looking after the Compleat Artist. It has been a central part of mine and my sisters' lives for as long as we can remember and its closure has been a very sad decision for us to take.

"I wish to express my deepest thanks to all our staff, in particular Lis Rolfs and Sharon Noble, whose support has meant the world to me personally.

"We are so sorry to be leaving our artists, all of whom we have been privileged to have been able to help over the years, and all of us would like to thank Salisbury and our many loyal customers and supporters. We are extremely sad to be leaving you."

All stock at the shop has a 50 per cent discount. But while the Kennard family are bidding farewell to the Compleat Artist on Saturday, the Journal understands it may reopen later in the year under new ownership.