Rivals join together to keep Costa Coffee out of Bakewell

Image caption,
The building in King Street where Costa wants to move has been empty for two years

A fight to keep Costa Coffee out of a Derbyshire town has brought business rivals together.

About 6,000 people have signed a petition against the national chain opening a store in Bakewell.

Tart makers and pudding bakers have set aside their usual rivalry to try to block the move.

Costa has not commented but some locals support the prospect of the chain moving to the town, pointing out that the building would otherwise be empty.

'Always been rivals'

The chain is part of Whitbread, which also owns Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Premier Inn, and wants to open a shop in an empty Victorian building in King Street.

The petition was launched six weeks ago.

Residents and business owners against the chain moving to the town are hoping to replicate the success of campaigners in Totnes, Devon, where Costa Coffee abandoned plans for a new branch.

Costa withdrew from Totnes after 5,750 signatures were collected against it. The firm said it "recognised the strength of feeling" against brands.

Jemma Beagrie, from the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop, said she wanted to keep the town independent with "local people having local jobs".

She said: "Myself and the Bakewell Tart Shop have always been rivals in the town.

"To be honest we've forged a great friendship through fighting Costa together."

Richard Young, from the Original Farmers Market Shop, said the shop in question had been empty for two years and no-one wanted to fill it.

He said: "It might be some of the changes have to take these bigger buildings up. We need to put the footfall up, more footfall, more expenditure."