THE closure of a village newsagents has struck another blow to a Weardale community.

Shotley Stores, in Stanhope, closed its doors at the weekend after asking customers to settle their accounts.

A customer, who did not wish to be named, said: "This is a bit of a blow for the West End. It has been a paper shop for 50-plus years and it is another loss for Stanhope.

"The older people living in the West End will now have to walk all the way to the main street. We are losing a lot of things in the dales."

Local Wear Valley District Councillor, Richard Mews, said the only remaining retail business in that end of the village was a petrol station.

He said: "Losing a business at that end of the town is going to be sad - everything else is in the middle of the town. It is going to be hard for all the old people.

"Farmers used to use that shop and it used to deliver to Eastgate. It has been a newspaper shop for as long as I can remember."

The store owners were unavailable for comment.