A WORMGATE business is leaving Boston after seeing its daily trade fall to zero – which it blames on the roadworks and council ‘neglect’ of the street.
Misa gift and accessories shop is to close on Saturday and relocate to Blackpool, after footfall and trade at the shop dramatically fell.
“Since the upheaval of the Market Place works began we have watched the footfall in Wormgate go from a steady trickle to nothing at all,” said the shop’s manager Marc Batchelor.
“It had an instant effect on us. Some days we had nobody in the shop at all – not even people just browsing. The recent roadworks around Norfolk Street and Fydell Street also affected us very badly.”
Marc and his sister Lisa, who owns the shop, have been in business for just a year, but said they had put all their savings into the shop and braced themselves for the recession.
“Having the shop was our dream, but there’s no way we could financially survive here any longer.” he said.
As reported in The Standard last September, businesses in Wormgate were concerned about shoppers being put off by incorrect singage, subsidence in the road and traffic using the pedestrianised street.
Boston BID has since been down to tidy the area and pointed out road restrictions to drivers. However, Marc said many of the problems have since become worse.
He added: “I know Coun Carol Taylor at the borough council is keen to do something for Wormgate – but she seems to be one lone voice.”
Speaking to The Standard, ward Coun Taylor said: “The council is aware of the concerns of businesses in Wormgate and, as a result of a very productive meeting with them, moves are now afoot to improve the experience for shoppers in this part of town.”
Amanda Bond, senior development officer for Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This is a challenging economic climate for any business, and it’s unlikely that the ongoing Market Place improvements are solely responsible for the drop in trade. By carrying the refurbishment out now, traders can fully reap the benefits when the economy improves. Also, the project has been made possible thanks to European funding. If we had waited until a later date, it is unlikely this would have been available.”