Village fishmongers to close due to ‘tough trading environment’

A TRADITIONAL fishmongers will be closing its doors for the final time on Saturday, with the failure of the business being blamed on a “tough trading environment” and “increasing costs”.

James Nye, managing director of Anglian Country Inns Ltd, has said the closure of its business, Fish at The Fox in Willian, will not result in any job losses, with staff being redeployed to either The Fox pub on the same site or to a new venture planned by the company for September.

Fish at The Fox opened in November last year, with Mr Nye saying at the time: “There is a scarcity of fresh fishmongers in the north Hertfordshire area and we want to fill this gap.”

With the closure of Fish at The Fox announced this week, he said: “Although a very difficult decision has been made, we must reflect on the good times.

“The current tough trading environment and increasing costs has forced our hand on this occasion.”

He added: “As much as we have wanted to make it work down here, the location isn’t great,” with the footfall “not particularly good”.

Fish at The Fox was opened at the back of The Fox pub on the former site of The Food Barn, which sold seasonal local produce and was also run by Anglian Country Inns Ltd. The Food Barn was abandoned in October last year after two years’ trading. Mr Nye again blamed a “tough trading environment” and an “increase in costs”.

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The building will now be used as offices.

Anglian Country Inns Ltd has acquired the former Hermitage Ballroom on Hermitage Road in Hitchin and intends to open a coffee shop downstairs and a large restaurant and bar upstairs in September.

Mr Nye has said that this new venture will create about 30 additional jobs.

“The high street location is going to be key,” he said. “We have got this great opportunity now.”

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