Art shop set to close as recession strikes again

SAD TO GO: Art lover Julia Prior who has closed her shop in Sudbury.
SAD TO GO: Art lover Julia Prior who has closed her shop in Sudbury.
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The owner of an art shop in Sudbury says the recession has scuppered her dreams of continuing to trade in the town.

Julia Prior, who ran Bookends in Gaol Lane, is to close her art and secondhand book shop today after almost three years in Sudbury.

She says she has been touched by the comments she has received from people following her decision to close the shop, which will also put to an end the art and craft classes she had run above it.

“We couldn’t carry on – we just don’t have the money to do it,” she said. “The recession has killed off our trade. Nowadays, people just don’t have the money to spend on extras.

“People have been really upset about the fact that we are going and I have been really touched by some of their comments. The artists, of course, are really disappointed that we’re closing.

“Generally, people in Sudbury have really loved the shop and have said it was a breath of fresh air, which is why it’s such a shame to have to close, but we do not have any option,” she added.

Ms Prior, 51, set up Bookends in July 2010 with the idea of giving local artists the chance to showcase their work, and she launched a website called Sudbury Hidden Talents to promote it.

She had the idea of running craft classes above the shop so people could learn art and craft skills and, although her classes were popular, she said there had been problems filling them in recent months.

“Trade at Christmas wasn’t very good and then the weather was really poor and that meant we didn’t make the money we needed in the first quarter,” she said.

“I think it’s a sign of the times – we are disappointed as it was a nice shop and it had been our dream for so long. We sank £15,000 of our savings into it but we do not have the money to carry on.”

Ms Prior, from Church Street in Clare, says she is starting work at Clare Library soon.