Liquidation forces closure of Lewes off-licence

The shop front. Photograph by Peter Cripps
The shop front. Photograph by Peter Cripps

Hartley’s, the off-licence in Lewes High Street, closed on Saturday (January 12) because the company has gone into liquidation.

Meanwhile, the Lewes branch of Steamer Trading Cookshop is one of 27 stores acquired by rivals ProCook, the cookware and kitchenware specialist.

Steamer Trading, which has 38 stores across the UK, appointed administrators on Wednesday, January 9.

Ten of its under-performing stores are not part of the ProCook sale and will close immediately, administrators said, resulting in 79 job losses.

The latest developments have led local councillor Stephen Catlin to suggest a way of rejuvenating the western end of Lewes High Street as a retail attraction.

In an email to Lewes District Council CEO Rob Cottrill, Cllr Catlin said: “Using some of the £670m open for bids at central government, shops now empty and for sale at The Bottleneck in Lewes could be bought by the district council to start to turn the area in to a niche shopping one with the flats above made into LDC housing stock. Only a regeneration suggestion, of course, but Lewes is in as much need of help as Newhaven – before the salvation of the North Street Quarter is delivered!”