October 24 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 1, 2014
The Hunts Post today launches a campaign to show support for Waterstones in St Neots and encourage the company to retain its status as Huntingdonshire’s only dedicated book shop and open a new store in the town.
Its branch, based in Barretts of St Neots in the Market Square, will close on Saturday, August 16, after it was unable to agree terms for a renewed lease with the independent department store. The book company confirmed that it was looking to find new premises in the town as soon as possible.
But we want to make sure it happens and from today (Wednesday), readers will be able to sign our petition to back the brand and ask it to make reopening in St Neots a priority.
The mayor, Councillor Andrew Hansard, said: “They are a very good company, they have got a good book shop and I would like to see them stay. It doesn’t surprise me that people would be worried because it is the only really good book shop in the town and if the decent shops keep going out to Bedford or Cambridge or Peterborough, it lessens the town’s stability.
“If they could find somewhere else that would be great, I would be happy to support that.”
A spokesman for Waterstones said they would be pleased to receive a petition.
He added: “You are preaching to the converted. We have had an overwhelming response from our customers and we very much share their sadness that we have to close the shop. There should be a bookshop in St Neots and we will do what we can to make sure it does have one.
“We have looked at a few shops over the last months but they have been too small. Some customers have pointed us towards the potentially lovely Old Falcon Hotel but this sadly is rather beyond our budget.
“I am very grateful for your [The Hunts Post] doing this. In particular, a shopkeeper or landlord may see it and this may produce a suitable shop.”
INFORMATION: Visit www.huntspost.co.uk/news/waterstones-petition. To suggest a new location in St Neots for Waterstones, email firstname.lastname@example.org.