A TOWN sport shop is being closed ‘with a heavy heart’ after more than 20 years.

The Newtown branch of Clubsport on Broad Street is shutting permanently after 22 years, the last few have seen the shop struggle in a changing retail climate.

It will open for the final time on Saturday, September 28, and was the only dedicated sport shop left in Montgomeryshire.

Simon Hussey, the managing director of Clubsport, says it is not a decision which has not been taken lightly, but instead “with a heavy heart”, and he thanked customers for their loyalty over “22 wonderful years”.

Mr Hussey said that online shopping has provided more competition in recent years and that there had been hopes of a boost in footfall with the construction of the new bypass, but unfortunately it has seemed to have the opposite affect for the business.

“Our lease is coming to an end and with the economic environment the way it is at the moment, Newtown is not the place it was – a vibrant, bustling market town”, he said.

“In the last few years we’ve lost Burton’s, Dorothy Perkins, Laura Ashley, William Hill and recently Clinton Cards over the road.

“But this is not unique to Newtown it is happening all over the country. Our landlords have been absolutely superb and twice they have reduced our rent but we have been struggling there for the last few years.”

Mr Hussey added: “With Newtown we thought let’s wait and see whether things improve with the bypass as we thought that might be a saviour, but it’s made it worse. People are just driving around the town now rather than coming into it.

“It’s very, very sad and disappointing but we want to thank all customers for their loyalty over the last 22 years.

“The shop will still be open for another week and there will be bargains to be had, especially if you are a fan of the Rugby World Cup.”