A BAKERY which has been open for 70 years has shut its doors because of out-of-town supermarkets and roadworks.

Cooks Bakery, in Old Street, Upton, closed on Saturday, with the loss of seven jobs.

A statement from the owner, Peter Maiden, said: "Following a challenging 2018, it is regretted that the decision to close the bakery at the end of September will cause some disappointment in the town.

"Increased wage and food costs and the reduced footfall, together with the national change in customer spending and shopping habits are the reasons blamed.

"Additionally traffic disruption at the beginning of the year caused by the gas pipe replacement and bridge works disrupted winter months and severely affected passing trade which has not recovered.

"The future of the shop remains uncertain."

Upton's Mayor Simon Yates worked at the bakery for more than 30 years.

The manager and five part-time counter assistants also lost their jobs at the bakery, which is the last one in town.

Speaking to the Malvern Gazette, Mr Maiden emphasised the damage caused by Cadent's gas pipe works earlier this year.

He said: "It was total disruption, people couldn't park and parking is paramount.

"We lost what we call builders' trade. Chaps would pull up outside, pop in and buy a pie, a roll and a bag of crisps. But it never came back [after the roadworks].

"It's sad for the town as we still have the little old ladies who come in and buy a loaf every day.

"But footfall this September is 60 per cent of last September. We can't survive."

Mr Maiden hopes the closure will make residents realise they need to support local shops if they want them to stay open.

He added: "More local support could have prevented the bakery from closing.

"People need to shop in their towns. I feel sorry for Upton, it's dying.

"I hope people wake up and realise what's happening to this small town."

He said he cannot compete with supermarkets which sell bread loaves for 95p, while his cost £2.

Mr Maiden believes the bakery opened in 1948.