Family-run Norfolk butcher’s shop to close after 90 years

JD Spikings and Sons butchers shop in Upwell to close. Photo; Google

JD Spikings and Sons butchers shop in Upwell to close. Photo; Google - Credit: Archant

A family-run butcher's shop is shutting up shop for good after serving a village for nine decades.

JD Spikings and Sons has been trading in the village of Upwell, near Downham market, for more than 90 years.

Now its owners have applied to convert it into a home. Planning papers say the decision to close the business for good was not taken lightly by owners John Spikings and his wife Vivienne, who is a councillor and also chairs West Norfolk's planning committee.

The shop has been in the Spikings family for more than nine decades, Mr Spikings's mother lived there until her death, aged 99 in January 2015. But a report to councillors says Mr Spikings is now 68 years old and the day to day work is far from easy, while sufficiently qualified staff are hard to find.

In February 2016 the family decided that they would try and lease the shop as the premises comes with a family home in which Mr and Mrs Spikings live, meaning selling the business with the home was not possible.

However in the first 12 months it was on sale only one person visited the premises and the business was taken off the market.

Councillors have been recommended to approve the conversion when they meet on Monday, January 7.

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There are some concerns as what the impact of losing the butchers shop would do to the town, but the planning report states that there are two other butchers shops and three retail shops that offer meat products within one and a half miles of JD Spikings and Sons as well as a proposed build of a new Co-operative shop.

Upwell parish council objected to the application because of reservations over the way the business was marketed.

Parish chairman, Prue Lester said: 'Before a business is closed it should be advertised for two years, and that doesn't seem to have happened especially locally, we weren't aware.

'No-one in the village wants to lose another business which is why any vacant premises should be advertised and we are concerned that the planning committee aren't aware that it wasn't.'

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