Town centre charity shop to close - despite assurance of its future last month

PUBLISHED: 16:19 22 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:20 22 August 2020

Gorleston's British Heart Foundation store. PHOTO: Google

Gorleston's British Heart Foundation store. PHOTO: Google


A town centre charity shop is to close in the coming months, despite the charity vowing no more stores would close just last month.

Gorleston High Street’s British Heart Foundation shop will close in November after a decade.

Yet the announcement comes following similar news in July for one of their two Lowestoft sites, despite saying no further closures were planned in Norfolk or Suffolk.

Keely Huxham, regional manager at the British Heart Foundation, said: “After 10 years of business in the area, sadly the Gorleston BHF shop will be closing on November 3.

“We did not take this decision lightly, however in recent times the shop has seen a significant reduction in customer spend and footfall.

“At the BHF we do not take a short-term view on the profitability of a shop or store, and this decision was made prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We would like to thank our wonderful staff, volunteers, customers and donors for all their amazing support over the years and would urge the local community to still bear us in mind if they are having a clear-out in the coming weeks.

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“You can donate pre-loved items at our nearby Great Yarmouth and Beccles shops or via our new freepost service.

“Customers can also shop online with us at our eBay store.

“Each item bought or donated goes towards helping us raise vital funds for life-saving heart research.”

Chris Racey, who owns the building housing the store, said he was “surprised” by their decision to leave.

He said: “It came as a surprise because they had began proceedings to renew their lease just a few days earlier.

“I have owned the building since 1976 and I ran my own business, a pharmacy, there for a number of years before it became Lloyds Pharmacy and now the British Heart Foundation.

“We have only just given notice for the building to be marketed, but who knows what will happen in the current climate.

“Pre-Covid, I would expect it would be occupied quite quickly, especially because virtually nothing on Gorleston High Street was sitting vacant.

“Now it is difficult to say which businesses will survive with many potentially having had to be closed for several months.

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