A POPULAR fishmongers has closed after seven years in Colchester town centre.

Natasha and Kevin Hughes, owners of Hughes Fish Company, in Head Street, took the decision because of the decline of Colchester’s town centre and the rise of out-of-town supermarkets.

The couple will continue to sell fish from their boat, in Mersea, and orders can still be made online or over the phone.

A statement on the shop’s website said: “We have made the very difficult decision to close the shop.

“We would like to thank you for all your support over the past five years.

“Our lease was up for renewal, but we decided not to sign in for another five years as Colchester is not as it once was.

“We struggle to compete with supermarkets and more and more are opening, drawing more people out of the town.

“We will continue to sell fish from our boat and platters on an order-only basis.”

The couple initially opened a market stall in Culver Street West in December 2007, before moving to Church Walk in 2008. In 2009, the shop became a Head Street hit.

Natasha added: “It was a very sudden decision on our part.

“We thought a lot about it and it was very last minute, but we hope our reputation should be able to us carry on.

“We are devastated, but signing on for five more years was just too big a risk and fewer and fewer people are coming to the town now.”

The shop closed for the last time on Friday.

  • To find out how to order, email hughesfish@outlook.com or call 07963588592.