A MUCH loved town centre shop is in need of a new owner to keep Northwich creative.

Northwich Art Shop, in Witton Street, is closing down as owner Debbie Clowes, herself a trained artist, is changing her focus to health, family and her own painting following a recent illness.

But she would love someone to keep Northwich Art Shop going.

"It would be lovely if someone wanted to buy the stock and just carry on running the business, keep Northwich Art Shop running," she said.

"That would be fabulous, it would be the best outcome.

"We don't want any more shops like this shutting in Northwich – the independent shops are what make a town interesting."

Debbie opened the Aladdin's cave of art and craft materials almost 22 years ago with the romantic notion of being able to paint while running the shop.

She soon found herself too busy to paint as the business took off as the go-to stockist and advice centre for creative residents.

"This is a great opportunity for anyone that wants to come forward who would like to own an art shop," she said.

"If I'd seen that when I was 27 I would have thought 'fabulous', there's a workshop at the back where you could run classes and lots to do with it for someone with plenty of energy.

"The nicest side of it has been the customers," she said.

"They have been lovely over the years.

"When people come here they're really enthusiastic because they're going to start painting."

Regular customers have been a great help to Debbie while she has been ill, with Northwich artists like Michael Troy and Bill Stott sending her work to cheer her up.

"I want to thank my regular customers because they've been coming in with lovely wishes and painting pictures for me," she said.

Northwich Art Shop's closing down sale started on Monday but the shop will continue to take picture framing while it is open.

Gift vouchers need to be spent there as soon as possible.

Anyone interested in taking on the shop should pop in and talk to Debbie.