End of the road for village’s only shop
A TEESDALE village will lose its only shop after the owners said they simply couldn’t make ends meet.
Cotherstone Post Office will close on Saturday, July 25.
The adjoining shop will shut the following Saturday.
Adam and Karolina Alston moved from London to Cotherstone after purchasing the village shop and post office in 2016 from long-time owners Allen and Dorothy Christen.
Mr and Mrs Alston, who have been trying to sell the business for almost two years, applied to turn the property into a residential home earlier this year.
The store will close so the buyers can get a mortage.
In a statement on social media, Mr Alston said: “This is all a bit sooner than we had hoped. However, our buyers cannot get their mortgage approved until the shop has ceased trading and reverted its usage back to residential status.
“We know how important newspapers are to you, so we have been in contact with Middleton newsagents to take over our home deliveries, using the same paperboys so there will be minimal disruption to your papers. More details of this will be provided in the coming weeks.
“To those customers who have supported us over the last few years, and particularly these last few months, we thank you.
“We tried our best, we invested tens of thousands to make the shop better, we added over 800 new items to the shelves to try and give you what you wanted.
“When it became clear we couldn’t make ends meet, we tried for two years to sell it as a shop, and when it became obvious nobody wanted a shop we tried to initiate a community takeover of the shop – we even offered it to the steering group at a reduction of £50,000 and all of the stock for free which no one ever told you about – but alas, to no avail.”
Proposals to open a community-run shop were put on hold in March because of the pandemic.
An initial public meeting was held in September, when more than 75 residents gave their support to look into the idea.
A survey was completed and a steering group formed. One of the options being considered includes running a shop in the Methodist church building, possibly with a cafe.