Bailiffs have been called into a sweet shop in St Albans city centre, after efforts to recover overdue rent failed to come to fruition.

The Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in French Row, which has been operating since 2004, was officially closed by St Albans district council on Monday (6), after rent was left unpaid for a year.

Mike Lovelady, head of legal and regulatory services at the local body told the Herts Advertiser: “We instructed bailiffs to recover possession of 5 French Row last week.

“This was because significant rent arrears had accrued, amounting to one year’s rent. The tenant, a company called Our Sweet Shop (St Albans) Limited, had also been dissolved. We are looking at several ways to recover the overdue rent.”

St Albans council owns the Christopher Inn building, where the shop is based in the Medieval heart of the city.

The shop’s franchiser, which is partnered with 100 stores worldwide, told this paper it had been trying - unsuccessfully - to get in touch with the franchisee for some time.

The store’s abrupt closure has been a topic of some debate online, with several Facebook users expressing sadness and others speculating on the business.

Mr Simms’ head office said that it has found someone willing to take over the shop.

However, the council has asked anyone interested in renting the property to contact its property and asset management team on 01727 296122.