Fish and chip shops across the region say they are continuing to struggle as the price of ingredients and energy soars.

Ingredients such as fish have doubled according to some shops, and flour, oil and potatoes have also shot up in price.

The news comes as Brits have been warned that the price of the nation’s favourite dish, could soar due to a shortage of ingredients.

Will Burrell, manager at Yarm Road Fish and Chips in Darlington said that everything on his supply list “had gone up in price over the past year.”

The Northern Echo: Yarm Road Fish and Chips Picture: GOOGLE STREETVIEWYarm Road Fish and Chips Picture: GOOGLE STREETVIEW

He continued to add that although he is doing okay at the moment, things are looking a bit “bleak.”

He added: “At the moment we are going okay, there’s no imminent worries in terms of will we make it through, but the margins just aren’t there anymore.

“Aside from the ingredients, energy prices are just absolutely crazy at the moment, we just signed a new energy contract for our gas and electric and that’s more than doubled and we’re locked into that for three years.”

Mr Burrell added that despite these worries, he wants to hold off increasing prices “for as long as we can.”

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He said: “We’re trying not to because of the cost of living crisis that we’re coming up against.

“We’re trying to hold our prices as much as possible at the moment, but whether or not our hand will be forced is another matter.

“In all honesty, our trade hasn’t really dropped that much to be fair, but every Monday morning you wake up and think, ‘right how are we going to feel the squeeze today.’

“But touch wood, it is going okay, we kind of feel that if we keep putting quality stuff out, we will be able to ride the storm.”

Despite this, Mr Burrell does feel the Government can be doing a lot more to help the industry.

He added: “The government absolutely could be doing a lot more, for our industry, which is quite a unique industry, it is VAT that’s killing us at the moment.

“the system as a whole needs to be fairer and it needs to be cut, we are in a fortune position where we are a busy little shop, but I don’t know how the smaller shops will survive with the current VAT rate.”

The Northern Echo: Clem's in Bishop Auckland Picture: GOOGLE STREETVIEWClem's in Bishop Auckland Picture: GOOGLE STREETVIEW


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The Northern Echo spoke to Julie Kilding, owner of Mike’s Fish Bar in Newton Aycliffe, back in May.

The Northern Echo: Julie Kilding Picture: GOOGLE STREETVIEWJulie Kilding Picture: GOOGLE STREETVIEW

She revealed that things have not improved since then but they are still able to keep surviving.

The business has just signed a new contract for the gas and electric, but Ms Kilding said she doesn’t “know how people who have come out of contract now are getting on, I dread to think.”

She added: “The prices of ingredients are still going up, but we’re okay the moment, not as well as we were, we wouldn’t mind a bit of extra support from the Government, but I think everyone does at the moment.

Ms Kilding confirmed that she hadn’t noticed a reduced amount of customers and feels people haven’t changed their eating habits.

The Northern Echo: Mike's Fish Bar in Newton Aycliffe Picture: CONNOR LARMANMike's Fish Bar in Newton Aycliffe Picture: CONNOR LARMAN

She added: “I think people still like their treats, so there maybe a little change in the purchase habits but on the whole we’re still getting the customers through at the moment.”

Prices have also not been increased at Mike’s Fish Bar she confirmed, despite the troubles.

She added: “We’re fortunate that we’re still on a contract and I don’t think the general public know that businesses aren’t protected by a cap like normal consumers are.

“So it’s good we are in that contract for now.”

The news comes after just a few weeks ago Matt Vickers, MP for Stockton South, announced in The Northern Echo that the industry was in “dire straits” and that a third of chippies are now under threat of closing entirely due to the stresses.

Read more: How we can make sure the Great British chippy has not had its chips

He said: “It’s no surprise when the prices of every ingredient – from a bag of chips to vegetable oil right down to the paper used to wrap the food – have grown exponentially.

“As a nation of fish and chip enthusiasts, we must support our local shops. It really is a case of ‘use them or lose them’.

“There’s plenty we can do from a consumer level; we can choose to buy British-caught haddock or hake instead of imported cod from our local chip shop and we can continue our patronage where we can despite the higher prices.”

“As Brits, it is our patriotic duty to ensure that the Great British chippy remains a staple of our dining tables.”

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