'There have been tears': Norwich cafe shuts blaming Westlegate closure
PUBLISHED: 17:09 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:13 25 April 2019
A business in Norwich has closed blaming weeks of disruption to trade in the area.
Dessert shop Mindoro has ceased trading and the boss believes plummeting footfall in city centre street Westlegate is the cause.
A section of the road was blocked off to pedestrians after a chunk of cladding was blown off Westlegate Tower.
Scaffolding was erected to fix this which has now been removed but, more than two months on, the hole remains on the side of the apartment block.
During this time work was paused while further assessments and evaluations were carried out by loss adjusters and structural engineers.
Sean Rignall, manager of Mindoro said: “As people will be aware we've had issues down Westlegate for the past few months. We've come out of a difficult trading period, as it is for anyone in our industry, as January and February can be quite hard.”
He also claimed there had not been enough communication with the stores on Westlegate about what was happening.
“A complete lack of communication has meant it's been really hard for us to plan, from ordering to labour, because we've just not known what was going on,” he added.
The closure of the road was organised by Norwich City Council and Westlegate Tower's managers Watsons Property Management.
Four full-time members of staff have lost their jobs at Mindoro as well as around 10 other part-time staff.
Mr Rignall said that “there had been a lot of tears”.
When the claims were raised with Watsons a spokesman offered only “no comment”.
A City Council spokeswoman said they were not responsible for communicating with the businesses involved: “We're sorry to hear that Mindoro has announced its closure. In this situation, our role was to grant the road closure, necessary for the safety of the public and so are not in a position to be able to comment on the communication between the developer and businesses.”
Mr Rignall added: “We haven't had the opportunity to thank our customers for their support and we wish them well.
“We've had four or five closures across the city recently and hundreds of people in my industry are looking for a job.”