Pigeonhole closing due to high rents

Pigeonhole, Moot Hall, Daventry.
Pigeonhole, Moot Hall, Daventry.

Around 60 independent businesses will be forced to leave the Pigeonhole in Daventry when it closes at the end of the month due to high rent levels.

Business managers at the premises in Market Square say they are disappointed to be closing after 18 months of trade but they have been unable to renegotiate a more affordable level of rent with Daventry District Council.

Paul Bowditch, 46, said: “Obviously we are disappointed to be closing because we put time and money into the business and employ four members of staff.

“We feel we are one of the biggest places to shop so it’s a shame for Daventry and for the business we house here. We have artists and people who sell crafts and they use it as a source of income while they are doing craft fairs etc.”

Mr Bowditch and business partner, Dawn Willetts, 34, plan to take the business model outside of the town centre where rent may be more affordable. Ms Willetts said: “We believe the business can and will work so we will dust ourselves off and rebuild it elsewhere.”

Explaining the position of the council, business manager Simon Bowers said DDC must ensure it was fair to the tax payer.

He said:“We work closely with our tenants and have provided a range of help to give them the opportunity to overcome short term difficulties.

“We have a legal duty to ensure that we obtain the best value possible in all circumstances. We cannot subsidise commercial operations indefinitely to be fair to taxpayers, commercial landlords, and our existing tenants who continue to pay full market rents.”

The Pigeonhole will cease trading on March 28 and must leave its residence at the Moot Hall by March 31.