The owner of a village shop in Powys has spoken about making the difficult decision to close and the reasons behind the move.

Duncan Borthwick, owner of Llanymynech Village Shop, announced on February 23 that he would be closing the shop.

Speaking to the County Times about the closure, he said: “One factor is the cost-of-living crisis and people having no money to spend. We are outcompeted by the supermarkets at every turn while people are struggling, sometimes choosing between heating their homes and eating.

“My lease is not going to be renewed at the end of my tenancy, because the landlord wishes to sell the premises in its entirety. I imagine he has extortionate costs in this current climate too. This means that even if the above miracle does occur, I would be without a premises in two years.

“A community buyout of the building has been floated, but it still doesn’t solve the fact that the overheads would be too high for the drop in footfall. If people can’t afford to spend what they used to in the shop, they’re not going to be able to do it now.”


He added: “I felt devastated that I had to make this decision, and felt like I’d let everyone down. The business was built up over many years by Jen and Karl, and along with their staff including myself, Louise, Leah, Jane, Sue and others, becoming a community hub.

“After I purchased the business, the Ukraine war started, energy costs skyrocketed, the cost-of-living crisis arrived, post Brexit effects started to bite, effecting supply chains and costs and people’s shopping habits changed. All of this is like trying to move forward through a hurricane.

“I am not ashamed to say, I contemplated taking my own life a few weeks ago. The devastation I felt about letting my community down, and seeing no way out or any way of making it better led me there. It was the support of my husband, my family, and my community that brought me back from that.

“A lot of us will fall at the hurdles, but we are never failures, and should never think of ourselves that way. We will pick ourselves up and we will fight on. It might be in a different capacity, but that spark of creativity, energy and drive never dies. We are a force not to be forgotten. We are the community and we will not go quietly into the night.”