‘We are not closing’ – town butcher reassures customers

Kevin Thorne, owner of K J Thorne butchers in Burgess Hill. Picture: Steve Robards
Kevin Thorne, owner of K J Thorne butchers in Burgess Hill. Picture: Steve Robards

A longstanding Burgess Hill butcher is reassuring his customers that he is not leaving the town any time soon.

Kevin Thorne, 57, owner of K J Thorne butchers in the Market Place Shopping Centre, told the Middy he wanted to reassure his customers during what has been a ‘difficult’ and ‘stressful’ time for his business.

The butchers is instead moving from its usual market spot in the shopping centre to a new unit right opposite, to make room for Argos, which has confirmed it is relocating to the spot so work can take place at the Martlets Shopping Centre.

Kevin said: “We are moving to the Arch Brow Bar unit right opposite. We have a new ten-year lease. The main thing I want to get out there is that we are not closing.

“It has been a difficult and stressful time for the business with lots of people assuming that we are closing, so this is a chance for me to publicise the fact that we are remaining open.

“I have been negotiating this for such a long time, so I can now confirm we have been rehoused and it will be happening soon.

“The next two to four weeks are going to be difficult, because of the other traders being cleared out, and we bounce off each other here.

“The last couple of weeks have been an absolute nightmare. It has not been handled the best and at the end of the day I need to look out for myself.”

We reported in last week’s Middy that traders in the shopping centre had been given notice to quit to make room for Argos.

Each of the six businesses, some of whom have been there for more than 20 years, were given notices to vacate.

Some were given just two weeks’ notice to leave and said they were ‘devastated’ by the decision. Read our original story here.

Speaking to the shopping centre’s manager Andrew Harvey, he confirmed the decision had been made to locate Argos in the space occupied by the market.

Kevin, who lives in Burgess Hill, has been in the shopping centre for 22 years.

“We have been in this spot for 22 years and have traded in Burgess Hill for 37 years,” he said.

“My right-hand man Dan Turner has been with me since he was 13-years-old and he is now 30, and I have taken on his brother Matt now – they are the future of the business.

“It has been a happy 22 years in here and I am pleased we have been able to stay.”