Rates rise leads to shop closure

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RISING rates and falling footfall has led the owner of the Hatter Street Picture House, in Bury St Edmunds, to announce its closure at the end of the month.

Paul Bland, 64, who founded the art business six years ago, hoped to carry on trading for a few more years but said the recession and the opening of the arc, had flattened footfall, while he had also faced a 20 per cent rise in his business rates. He has called for better signs listing the shops down the side streets. The shop is having a sale and will shut for the last time on February 26.