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Town businesses suffering

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With roadworks as set to continue in Alnwick town centre for another two to three weeks, businesses have reported losses up to 20 per cent compared to last year.

Northern Gas Networks told the Gazette it has now finished the emergency repairs on Bondgate Within and has started a ‘vital upgrade’ to aging gas mains in Alnwick.

This has sparked a flurry of responses from Alnwick traders who are concerned with the plans.

The emergency works have already seen some business-owners with losses of around 15 to 20 per cent in business from the previous year.

Carlo Biagioni, Alnwick Chamber of Trade chairman and business-owner, said many businesses were struggling.

“We’ve been affected, we’re about 15 to 20 per cent down”

“I’ve had a look at the books over the Easter period and we made 20 per cent more last year.”

Keith Nichols, of Northumbria Pets, said that the business had taken a hit over the Easter period.

“It’s a lot more difficult, cars getting in and people getting about,” he said.

“We’re certainly down from last year at the same time, I’ve checked the figures and we’re about 10 - 15 per cent down from last year.”

Peter Lewis, of G Penrose and Son, added: “We’re not getting the passing trade obviously, but I mean we’re still functioning, we can still deliver and receive things.”

Shop-owners at Sports World, House and Home, Bell’s of Alnwick and others told Carlo at the Chamber of Trade that they had been suffering losses of similar proportions.

Stephen Bell, of Bell’s of Alnwick, told the Gazette that the roadworks were a strain, but understood that they had to be done.

Meanwhile, workers at House and Home told the Gazette that the diversion along the Green Batt road had caused ‘significant issues’ for pedestrians as there was no safe place to cross the road like on the B6346.

Northumberland County Council expect the road to be closed to Wednesday, May 6.