Northampton retailer harnesses people power in rent protest

Northampton retailer Carol Faulkner has been harnessing people power in a battle to save her store Health Quest whose future, she says, is threatened by high rents.

Faulkner gathered more than 600 signatures in two days from local shoppers alerted to the possible loss of their local health food store.

She comments: “High rents are forcing out smaller independent businesses like Health Quest. I asked for a reduction as the recession hit, but was refused. Businesses go bust because of high rates, then landlords lease premises out to someone at a much lower rent. It’s ridiculous.”

Local MP Brian Bingley has been contacted to help initiate fresh rent negotiations. But Faulkner added: “Everyone’s talking about supporting small local businesses, but who is seriously doing anything practical?”