AN ALSTON fish and chip shop is closing this week due to the cost of living crisis.

As a result of the prices of key ingredients rising as well as significantly higher energy bills, The High Plaice will shut its doors on Saturday, November 5.

Nicola Ridley, who has worked at the shop for 16 years, said: "A lot of our fish was coming from Russia and our vegetable oil comes from Ukraine, and the prices just went through the roof.

"The fish went from £167 to £245."

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She added: "The electricity has also just gone through the roof, and they've put our rent prices up, and it's just been a struggle.

"We've put our own prices up as much as we can but people can't afford it anymore."

Nicola said the number of customers they have been seeing has taken a "massive dive".

"Usually there are four or five of us in the shop, and throughout the whole summer, it's just been me and my boss doing it," she said.

Sean Addison has owned the takeaway, on Alston Front Street, since November 2019.

"I've had various other businesses and when it came up, I just thought Alston was a great place to live and I took it over," he said.

"It went well, it started off brilliantly. And then we went into the Covid lockdown and it's just gone down and down and down."

He added: "It's certainly been a tough few years. Everything has shot up, and with the energy prices, people are scared to spend money.

"We had people coming to us twice a week, or maybe three or four times a month, and they're now coming maybe once a month now.

"They've got their electricity and gas to pay at home.

"It has taken a massive toll on everyone."

Both Nicola and Sean said they are not yet sure what they will do next.

"I'll probably take a couple of weeks off to just regroup and see where we go, and see what might be possible to do," said Sean.

"It's such an uncertain time. When we do make some sort of commitment, it has got to be a relatively good choice."

They both said they would like to thank all of their customers for their support over the years.

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