Energy bill crisis: Soaring bills force closure of Kirkcaldy bakery

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Spiralling energy costs have led to the closure of a business in Kirkcaldy after its monthly bill rose from £350 to £1400.

Valley Bakers has pulled down its shutters after branding the hike as “completely unacceptable”

The Valley Gardens business warned it won’t be the last to cease trading as the energy bills crisis is set to get worse this autumn and winter.

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Kellyann Grubb, owner, plans to continue with her buffet supplies, but the doors to her business have shut.

David Torrance at Valley Bakers with owner Kellyann Grubb (left) and shop assistant, Becky Bell.David Torrance at Valley Bakers with owner Kellyann Grubb (left) and shop assistant, Becky Bell.
David Torrance at Valley Bakers with owner Kellyann Grubb (left) and shop assistant, Becky Bell.

Her plight was highlighted by David Torrance MSP for Kirkcaldy who called on the UK Government to intervene to stop more companies going to the wall.

In a Facebook post, Kellyann said: “We have loved serving you all for the past two years and have made good friends along the way.”

She said spiralling energy bills was the last straw.

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Valley Bakers in Kirkcaldy has closedValley Bakers in Kirkcaldy has closed
Valley Bakers in Kirkcaldy has closed

“I’ve had to close Valley Bakers as our energy prices have risen sharply, “ she said. “Originally I was paying £350 per month but the bill this month was £1400.

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“I won’t be the first or last business to close because of this – it’s completely unacceptable!

“The shop was really busy but there are so many outgoings that I have to pay I just can’t make it work.

“My employees are all having to look for new jobs and I feel like I’ve let them down - I never want to run my own business again!”

Kellyann said that the stress of the energy crisis had affected her mental health and that the business was barely making any profit.

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“I love my business and my job, but I’ve been losing sleep over all of the worry of what was going to happen,” she said.

“I’ve not had a wage since December last year just trying to keep my head above the water and at the end my husband was having to put money into the business. I can’t do it anymore so it’s time to call it a day.”

Mr Torrance fears more businesses will struggle and may close - and the ripples may also spread to engulf charities as they too face spiralling bills.

He said: “One bakery that I visited last week was selling all of its stock at half price before it closed its doors for the very last time that day, and another small grocery store that has been in Kirkcaldy for several years faces the same fate in the very near future.

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“As well as businesses, charities are also in peril as after a visit with the social-isolation charity, Kirkcaldy and District Men’s Shed, I was told that they are paying unreasonable rates to EDF, leaving its facilitators fearful for its future.

“These small businesses and charities are key to our community and provide much needed employment and support in an area that already suffers from deprivation.

“I’m calling on the Tory UK Government to intervene as not only will small businesses and charities go to the wall, but for people in general as many will be left in a life-or-death situation which is completely unacceptable.”