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Roof repairs are affecting our business
5:00pm Thursday 31st May 2012 in News
EMERGENCY repairs to a collapsed roof is killing off trade, surrounding business have claimed.
The roof of Holland and Barrett, in Priory Walk, caved in at 1.50pm on Saturday. Two employees escaped unhurt.
Work has begun to repair the damage but a section of Priory Walk has been closed off while the area is made safe.
Shop managers in surrounding units said it has had a massive impact on business, as the only access is via Queen Street.
Angela Barker, assistant manager at Arthritis Research UK, said: “It has been terrible.
“We are really struggling. On a good day we can have up to 200 customers, but since this we are averaging 60.
“There has been no explanation and I don’t think it has been handled well.
“They could have left space next to the fences, big enough for a pushchair to get through.”
Emma Godfrey, 42, volunteer at Cancer Research UK, said the number of shoppers had halved.
She added: “Because we are so close to the fences, we miss the people walking past who would have dropped in.”
The Cake Store was set to open this week, but its first day of trading has been delayed because of the repairs.
Sainsbury’s has put up signs informing customers it is still open.
NBTY Europe, Holland and Barrett’s parent company, said it was waiting for a structural engineer’s report.
A spokesman said reopening the store is a priority, but no timescale has been set.
Priory Walk is owned and maintained privately by GVA commercial property management.
A spokesman estimated the work would take between six and eight weeks.
But he said: “That is not to say it will be shut for that long.
“The scaffolding will take between ten and 14 days to put up and one entrance will be closed for a short time.
“Priory Walk and all other shops remain accessible and people will be directed to other entrances. No other businesses should be affected.”