Tesco claims first casualty as shutters close in Jennyfield

tis  The exterior of Jennyfield News.  (120130M3)
tis The exterior of Jennyfield News. (120130M3)
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A TRADITIONAL newspaper shop which has been serving the Harrogate community for 25 years has closed its doors because of the threat of a superstore moving in to the area.

Jennyfield News on Jenny Field Drive shut up shop last week after the owner made the decision not to renew the lease he held on the premises.

Robin Marshall, who has run the newspaper shop for 11 years, told the Advertiser he was concerned over the pressure the new Tesco due to be built in the area might have brought to his business in an already challenging environment.

“We have got a Tesco coming up in the area in 18 months and I would have had to commit to a lease covering that time and more,” said Mr Marshall.

“To pay the rents at the moment is hard enough, but then add onto that the increasing business rates and the unknown quantities that Tesco bring to business in the area and I just couldn’t commit to a new lease.

“I’ve been running the shop for 11 years now, but you just have to make that decision and it’s just not something I felt I could commit to.”

Rosemary Carnaghan, a regular at the newsagent for many years, said the shop and Mr Marshall would both be sorely missed by people in the area.

“I think this is very, very sad, because it leaves the people in Jennyfield without this little convenience that they have relied upon,” she said. “It was always the sort of place that children could go along to and spend their pocket money on sweets, and I just think this is the sort of thing we can’t afford to lose from here.

Dr Carnaghan, said she was sorry a shorter lease could not have been agreed, which would have allowed Mr Marshall to see the chalenges the superstore would bring and then better prepare to fight them.

“He was one of those little convenience stores which are so essential to a community and big business has dumped all over him which I just think is so sad,” she said.