Closing the shutters

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A well-known Driffield business has closed it’s doors for the last time after 13 years of trading in the town.

Photo-arts, formerly Flowers & Frames, on Middle Street closed down last week due to rising business rates leaving the owners out of pocket.

Former owner of the photographic services business, Helen Turton, said that the closure of photo-arts had been on the cards since last Christmas when, despite working 12 hour days, seven days a week, very little profit was made.

Helen 37, of Chestnut Avenue, Driffield said: “Christmas day was the first day I’d had off in weeks and few days after Christmas the bank sent me a text message with the bank balance and I said to my partner, ‘I can’t do this anymore.”

Helen, who took over photo-arts five years ago from her parents Liz and Vince Turton of Garton-on-the-Wolds, has claimed that rising business rates and the arrival of national chains in the town who can sell photo frames very cheaply have left little room for independent businesses in Driffield.

Helen said: “This year I have been paying £507 a month in business rates this has gone up by £100 since last year and I just can’t afford it, for over £500 you don’t even get your bins emptied, you have to pay an extra £220 a month for that,” Helen added.

Helen, who has a degree in English Literature, undertook a 12 week teaching course in the Summer and will start a diploma in January with the aim of fulfilling her ambition of becoming an adult literacy teacher.

Helen said: “It’s something I wanted to do straight after my degree and I never got round to it, that was another reason to close the business, I wanted to do something else before I turned 40.”

Photo-arts will be sorely missed in Driffield and loyal customers have inundated Helen with cards and flowers.

The former owner said: “Thank you to all my loyal customers of the last 13 years.”

Photo-arts has now been sold and Helen hopes that it will open as something new in the new year.

The Turton’s will continue with the framing side of the business from Liz and Vince’s Garton home, Woodford House, under the former name of photo-arts, Flowers & Frames and the passport photo service will now be available in the stationary section of Sokells.

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