A POPULAR family butcher's that has operated in Darlington for more than three decades has announced the closure of its indoor market stall.

In an emotional facebook post, Nick and Clare Fenwick of Fenwick’s Family Butchers Ltd said they have made the decision 'with great sadness' to close their beloved family business.

The Fenwicks butcher's business first started trading in Darlington from the Indoor Market and a shop on North Road, in 1988.

It was founded by Ray and Maureen Fenwick and their sons Nick and Nigel latterly qualified as master butchers to take over the business.

In recent years Nick has been running the butchers and deli with his wife Clare and their children.

They weathered the Covid pandemic by branching out into home deliveries but dwindling footfall in Darlington town centre has been cited among the factors leading to the closure of the business.

In an emotional statment released on social media on Friday, Nick and Clare said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the closure of our beloved family business with immediate effect.

"After 34-years trading in the Indoor Market, we are now facing just too many obstacles to carry on.

"Issues regarding our lease with the market management, declining footfall of the high street and the indoor market, increasing running costs, and our personal need to rebalance our work/family life have led us to this sad decision.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Nick Fenwick pictured in 2011 Picture: Northern EchoNick Fenwick pictured in 2011 Picture: Northern Echo

"We thank all our loyal customers throughout the years- those who visit us regularly in the indoor market and those who used our online shop and home delivery service.

"We will miss you all and we are so very sorry to disappoint you.

We are deeply sorry to say goodbye to our wonderful staff - some staff have been with us from our humble beginnings.

"We thank them for their hard work, loyalty and for being such great characters to work with.

"What 34 years we’ve had!

"To our fellow traders in the indoor market – who have been on the same journey as us -from the buzzing trading days of the market years ago, right through to the recent re -development of the market, we will miss you and wish you all the success for your future."