SIR: I am a regular customer of Dinghams Cookshop in The Square and have recently heard that this shop is going to close in January. I was shocked by the news as I am sure many other residents will be, particularly as this excellent cookshop is the only one in the area offering such a range of products and a very knowledgeable and long serving staff team who are passionate about cooking.

I have learnt that the owner has exercised a break clause in the lease but has apparently been unsuccessful in finding smaller premises in the town. Dinghams is now underway with staff redundancies and closure of the business. This family owned company will retain the cook shop and fireplace installation outlet in Salisbury.

In my view, this will be a great loss to the Winchester retail sector and an example of yet another privately owned business leaving the city. Dinghams in Winchester appears to be a viable business with many very loyal customers and it seems a great shame that the decision has been made to close it rather than seek an alternative solution.

Liz Cooper,

Northbrook Close,

St Giles Hill,