Claude’s of Churchtown has closed after 12 years in business. 

Owner Eddie James thanked all his customers and said the closure was due to increased competition in the area.

James said: “I have loved doing this for the past 12 years, and have loved working with the staff and our customers, and the people of Churchtown have been absolutely fantastic.

“It has been a great little place to work and it is a sad day, but unfortunately we just cannot continue and keep going.”

When asked about the reason for the closure, James said: “It’s down to the number of businesses that are opening and selling food. When we first took over [from the previous owner] there were eight different places [selling food], and now there are over 16.”

Claude Verité, who founded and ran Claude’s for 30 years, died last March, aged 73. Verité moved to Southport from France in 1961 and began working at Mellor’s Bakery. After a number of years there, he opened Claude’s Patisserie and ran the bakery until 2006, when he retired.