CLOSING DOWN: Clarks shoe shop
CLOSING DOWN: Clarks shoe shop

BARNARD Castle’s town centre has been dealt another blow with news that a major retailer is shutting its shop after nearly three decades in business.

Clarks shoe shop, in Horsemarket, has announced it will close its doors for the last time on January 26.

Craig Hamilton, franchise owner of the store, said: “After trading in Barnard Castle for 29 years we have made the difficult decision not to renew the lease on our property.”

He added: “Clarks continually reviews all of its stores to ensure that they are the right size and located in the right areas in order to provide the best possible offering and environment on the high street to its customers.

“We would like to thank all our customers who have supported us over the years and all the colleagues we have worked with both past and present, many who have become good friends.

“We will continue trading in our other Clarks franchise stores in Bishop Auckland, Penrith and Hexham as usual.”

There has been a shoe shop in the premises for most of the last century. The shop was originally run by Robert Anderson bootmakers which opened for business in the 1930s. In the past three years Barnard Castle has seen the closure of two banks, two bakers and several independent stores on the high street.

Town councillor George Hallimond said: “It’s a shame for the town. There’s been a shoe shop there since I was a boy. But the problem is the rates and rents are too high in Barnard Castle.”