Exmouth bicycle workshop Roots Cycleworks is to close down, with owner Chaz Curry saying it has become ‘impossible’ to continue trading. 

In a heartfelt statement posted on Facebook, he expresses ‘deep sadness and regret’, and describes how nine months of ‘utter economic devastation’ have given him no choice but to shut down the business he had spent more than 10 years building up. 

He had already closed the Ebford branch of the business last October, and will now wind up the Exeter Road shop over the next few weeks, closing to the public on Saturday, January 21. 

In his statement Mr Curry says in May last year it became clear to him and his business partner that ‘the middle and bottom had dropped out of the market’, because of the rise in the cost of living taking ‘huge swathes’ out of the disposable income of middle and low income earners. He says that this, ‘understandably’, led to fewer people getting their bicycles serviced, which was the main source of income for his business. 

He said the other factors leading to the closure were a rise of more than £1,500 in their insurance even though they had never made a claim, along with inflation, import duties, Brexit, supply shortages and ‘an abject out of touch government’. 

Mr Curry said he will not take any bookings for servicing or mechanical work after Sunday, January 15. He is holding a closing-down sale until January 21, offering at least 30 per cent off the products’ recommended retail price. From January 21 he will be clearing out the workshop, closing for good by Saturday, January 30. 

In his statement Mr Curry thanks all those who have supported his business over the years, saying it has been ‘a privilege and a pleasure’ to serve his customers.  

Dozens of people have responded with words of sympathy and regret, with many praising Mr Curry’s skills and expertise, thanking him for his friendly service and wishing him well for the future. They include a former employee who describes ‘brilliant memories’ of his time at Roots Cycleworks, and says the closure is ‘horrible to see’.