Shop to close after Market Place revamp hits profits

Boston Market Place
Image caption The improvement work will create more space in the Market Place

A Lincolnshire shop owner says she has been put out of business by disruption caused by work to improve Boston's Market Place.

Elaine Smithdale, who runs bridal shop Simply Yours and Naomi Rose with her daughter, said the work had hit takings by more than £300 a week.

Lincolnshire County Council said the short-term disruption would benefit businesses in the long run.

But Ms Smithdale said her shop could not withstand the loss in trade.

"It's been horrendous. A lot of people have said they're not coming into town because parking and getting into town has been very difficult," she said.

"They would rather go to Lincoln, Peterborough or Spalding.

"We've decided we're going to have to close because we can't take the hit it's given us. We can't keep going while the work is going on for near-on a year."

'Long-term impact'

The £2m project to revamp the Market Place started in July and is due to be completed in March.

Amanda Bond, senior development officer for Lincolnshire County Council, said: "The improvements are intended to revitalise the area, attracting new shoppers, visitors and investors.

"It is likely to have a much more positive long-term impact than any short-term superficial changes could achieve.

"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.

"Also, by carrying the refurbishment out now, traders will be able to fully reap the benefits when the economy improves.

"We're doing all we can to minimise the disruption and have recently set up an information centre on-site where local traders can discuss any concerns with our contractors.

"Business rates for affected companies have been reduced, to help them through this period. Our hope is that traders will appreciate the long-term benefits the refurbishment brings."

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