Singleton’s goes back on market

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ICONIC Garstang butchers, bakery and deli, Singleton’s, is back on the market in a “hush hush” sale – only months after the business was taken over.

The High Street business, run by Bispham firm Dawson’s Bakery since late last year, is being marketed by Blackpool estate agents Kays, with an asking price of £85,000 for the lease.

Kays are advertising the business via its website. The webpage does not mention Singleton’s by name, but it is clear from the description it is the bakery.

News of the sale has filtered out among Garstang’s retail community, though Kays say the sale is “highly confidential.”

It is understood the sale of the lease is being made by the Dawson family which took over the five year lease last autumn.

Yesterday The Courier contacted Mr Gary Dawson who said the matter was “quite private at the moment” before adding he did not wish to comment further on the record. After speaking off the record about various matters, he added he would happily speak to the Courier openly once matters were clearer.

Kays advertising data says the lease runs for five years from November 2011. Earlier this year, Mr Ben Dawson said taking over at Garstang had been “a culture shock” as their Bispham business was geared to wholesale, while the Garstang shop, with its century of history, is retail.

He said thousands of pounds would be invested in the property as part of the planned changes.

The Dawsons vowed to keep the traditional recipes for which Singleton’s is famed, as well as introducing new lines. Some physical changes have already taken place, including the removal of stairs to upper floors.

In March it was rumoured plans to move bakery staff to Garstang from Bispham had been halted. There were also concerns about the possibility of asbestos in the building.

Commenting at the time, Mrs Jayne Dawson said: “We are still moving the bakery from Bispham to the back of the shop, hopefully in the month. The back bit of the bakery has been given the all clear of asbestos so we can carry on moving in now.”

More recently Dawsons, which vowed to keep the name Singleton’s have used the covered area at the front of the old building (part of the old Stoops Hall complex) as an al-fresco style cafe area with tables and chairs close to the pavement.

The building is believed to be owned by Preston-based company Lanceshire, which is understood to have bought it off its previous owners.

Lanceshire is understood to be represented by Preston-based commercial property consultants Pinkus, which is thought to have arranged the lease deal with Dawson’s late last year.

A Pinkus spokesman said he had no idea about the Kay’s advert and the matter was “nothing to do with us.”