Ink runs dry for tattooist

Keith Butcher (left) with Dan Leicester and Ashley Briggs at the Dragon's Den tattoo studio.

Keith Butcher (left) with Dan Leicester and Ashley Briggs at the Dragon's Den tattoo studio.

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A VETERAN Promenade trader of more than 30 years says he is quitting the seafront due to a severe drop in trade.

Keith Butcher, owner of the Dragon’s Den Tattoo Studio, has now called on fellow businesses on the Prom to clean up their act before they face the same fate.

Mr Butcher, 47, says trade at the studio fell by 80 per cent this year and blames the lack of footfall on the area’s unappealing appearance – including numerous boarded up windows, poorly maintained shop frontages and large amounts of rubbish left lying in the street.

And in spite of he and his staff’s efforts to maintain the studio , Mr Butcher admitted: “I wouldn’t go in our own tattoo studio.

“I am being forced to move out of the building because we can’t get the business.

“We should take pride in our businesses with even simple things like a little bit of paint and removing rubbish.

“If everybody just took some time to clean their doorstep it would be a different place.”

Mr Butcher owns another studio on the corner of Albert Road and Coronation Street which he says is thriving, but added: “I’ve spent all my life on the Promenade and it’s quite a big step to move off.”

Steve Pye, chairman of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, blamed a lack of investment due to difficult economic times, but believes basic steps could turn traders’ fortunes around.

He said: “You’ve got to have an enticing looking property for customers to want to go in.

“It’s every business owner’s responsibility to keep their business tidy.”

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