End of the line for George Street business

Carole Peacock, Fiona Ashley, Lynda Rutherfoord, Penny Hutchin and Gloria Morris outside By George which is closing after 30 years

Carole Peacock, Fiona Ashley, Lynda Rutherfoord, Penny Hutchin and Gloria Morris outside By George which is closing after 30 years

Archant

A popular city centre business which has traded for more than 30 years has been ordered to vacate its premises.

By George, a St Albans shop set up to allow local independent businesses to trade together, will be closing down next month.

It currently has a group of 19 small antique, craft, and gift businesses who rent out the space in George Street.

The traders who work there have been told by the building owner that they can no longer use the premises but they are not certain why.

By George pays a set rent to the owners, who then cover the bills, and manager Carole Peacock, said she believed they had been asked to leave because the overheads became too high.

She explained: “We can’t afford to take it over and run it ourselves. Our rents would have to go up far too high to be able to manage the costs.”

They are currently trying to search for places to move to.

Carole said: “If a normal shop gets closed down you have a chance of moving somewhere else but we have around 20 businesses to try and find a new home for.

“We really want to try and start up again somewhere. There might be someone out there who has a room they’re not using.”

Carole has been at By George since it opened 30 years ago and has been a manager there for 15 years.

She said that the traders were all be very sad to see it go, and the reaction from customers hadd been similar.

She commented: “I had a lady in here who was very upset. It’s sad. It’s been a good outlet for people starting a new business and quite a few have gone on to develop it further.

“We have people who travel here especially to buy their Christmas presents every year, it’s not like other shops. There’s such a variety and there’s not many places where you can have things tailor made.

“I’m finding it hard because I’ve been here so long and I’m losing a job as well. It’s become like my baby really.”

By George will continue to trade until August 14 and anyone who knows of any premises that might be suitable, should contact the shop at 23 George Street, St Albans, AL3 4ES.

The owner of the building declined to comment.

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