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More misery for Leicester shop owner ‘within 500 yards’ of lockdown boundary

UK News | Published:

James West, who runs a print and design shop, says his business has already taken a huge hit due to lockdown.

James West, who runs a design and print shop in Thurmaston, Leicester

A Leicester shop owner has spoken of his frustration after his business fell within 500 yards of the border for new lockdown restrictions, leaving him forced to shut his doors a week after reopening.

James West, 25, sole proprietor of Thurmaston Design and Print Co in Thurmaston village, said he had opened the store this morning unsure how long he would be able to keep doing business.

Eventually details of the boundaries were published after 10am, confirming that he would have to close once more.

Leicester lockdown boundary
(PA Graphics)

“I am just in the bracket. So I opened up at 9am, and have now closed an hour later,” he told the PA news agency.

“I could have had an extra hour in bed!”

Mr West said he had been “greatly frustrated with the lack of guidance” he and others in the area had received so far, adding that the local Charnwood mayor had been “the only person of any authority who has put any full information out of any use”.

“I opened my shop last week for the first time and saw an instant increase in orders and now I worry this change will go back to no orders.

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“I haven’t been eligible for many of the Government funding due to not quite being open for three years.”

James West and his partner Mia Skain moved in to their first home in February (James West/PA)

Mr West said the loss of walk-in trade and the furloughing of many of his business clients had already made the past few months particularly tough.

He added that he and his partner Mia Skain had moved into their first home in February, but the lockdown had made him unable to pay himself properly since then.

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“We had some savings so we have been using them as best as we can. But I was hoping this was the start of better things.”

James West at work at his shop in Thurmaston (James West/PA)

Many have expressed concerns about how enforceable the restrictions are, with suggestions residents within the boundary could simply leave the area and use shops outside instead.

Mr West said: “A lot of my friends are in Syston. I drink in Syston, and as far as I can see, I can still go to the pub in Syston once it opens (on Saturday). Makes no sense whatsoever.”

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