The boss of a chain store with a branch in Carlisle has blamed sky high rents and rates for its impending closure.

Lakeland Leather, on English Street, has recently announced that it is to close after negotiations for an extension of the lease reached an “impasse” with the landlord.

Managing director Martin Foster also said he will try and redeploy the six staff to other stores in the area.

Like many shops in the city centre, it has seen a slow down of business when it reopened in the summer after the lockdown.

He added: “Our lease expires in November, we’d like to renew but our landlord is seeking a higher rent than we feel is affordable in the current market conditions.

“We hope negotiations to renew will continue but are currently at an impasse.

“As such, unless matters change, the store will close in November.

“If this happens, we’ll do our best to redeploy the six team members to other local stores in Gretna and Keswick.

“Generally, we are seeing much reduced footfall in Carlisle since Covid-19 emerged.

“Property cost, both rents and rates, will also need reducing in the future.

“Not just for us, but for all shopkeepers.”

The property appears on the website of Walton Goodland, a firm of chartered surveyors and commercial property consultants, with a rateable value of £57,500.

It states: “The property occupies a 100 per cent prime pitch in central Carlisle adjacent to all major national retailers.”