Independent Beulah Street gift store closes due to 'high business rates'

Another of Harrogate's independent stores has been forced to closed after complaining the business rates they have been charged were too high.

Friday, 18th March 2016, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 18th March 2016, 12:21 pm
Harrogate street scene

Molly Moculls, an independent gift shop specialising in candles, has been forced to close its store on Beulah Street after finishing their lease.

The popular store said they were 'very disappointed' to have closed but said they could no longer afford to be paying the overheads, 'especially' the business rates.

They explained it was 'not feasible' to sign up to another 15 year lease and have become the latest independent store to close in Harrogate.

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Popular independent cafe Heaven closed in January this year before another of Beulah Street's restaurants, Cafe Rouge shut this month.

Readers have been writing into the Harrogate Advertiser recently commenting on the amount of charity shops in the town, especially on Beulah Street.

Neil Anderson wrote into the paper on Thursday, March 3, to complain that he was 'saddened' to see that Cafe Rouge had now closed.

He said: "No doubt unable to continue trading successfully due to the high costs of business rates, employment of staff and investment in staff."

Mr Anderson complained there were 11 charity shops in Harrogate, with five on Beulah Street but other residents have defended the increase.

Jeanette Mowat, a volunteer at Save The Children shop, said that the shops are subject to the same costs and overheads facing independent shops.

However, Irene Zdziebko said that she has now taken her shopping habits to Wetherby following the closure of so many of the town's independent shops.

She said: "I used to love all the independent shops around the town and on a lunchtime walk recently I soon became bored as there was nothing of interest to visit.

"I loved clothes shopping and supporting independents. My two favourites The Nines and Valtiara could no longer continue due to high rents and rates."