TWO Winchester shops are facing eviction as the city council looks to create an ‘arts and creative hub’.

Winchester City Council has given Sunflowers Emporium and Sukee Market until February next year to leave their current locations at Kings Walk, leaving both frustrated and confused by the decision.

It forms part of the frequently reported city council’s long-term plan for the area, to revamp the current set-up to bring more people to that part of the city.

Sunflowers Emporium manager Alistair Day said: “We’ve been trying to get the council to pay attention to this area for a long time by tidying it up and getting people down here.

“It seemed like they were deliberately neglecting it in the hope it would just run itself into the ground and then they could do whatever they want.”

The shop’s owner, Barbara Cooper, said: “My lease was due to expire on December 24, so I emailed the council asking for my lease to be extended. I received nothing until we were told about the eviction.”

Mr Day explained how frustrated they were with the council’s viewpoint on the type of shop they want to keep for the area.

He said: “The Chinese shop and us have been asked to leave, but none of the others have been, even though none of those businesses fit in with an arts theme.

“We’ve just been told that the record shop is apparently a creative business. We have a regular and loyal customer base because we sell a lot of products that people can’t get anywhere else in Winchester.

“The council are just ending a 16-year business because of the vague notion of an arts and creative hub. We can’t afford to move to the High Street.”

Sukee Market, which specialises in Chinese food, has been given the same deadline. Owner Siu Hai was equally frustrated by the council’s decision.

He said: “We want to stay. A lot of customers come here to our shop and it’s good for the local people. My shop has been open for ten years.”

The council has been approached for comment but it has yet to respond.

READ MORE HERE: City council plans for Kings Walk building

Get more Winchester news. 

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering for a digital subscription.

Email with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.