Spalding dry cleaners make a “heavy” investment in town centre

Geoff Neal with the new machine at his dry cleaners in Spalding. SG070817-126TW
Geoff Neal with the new machine at his dry cleaners in Spalding. SG070817-126TW
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A Spalding business is literally investing heavily in its future – and the future of the town centre – with the installation of a £24,000, state-of-the-art dry cleaning machine.

The one-tonne monster was hoisted through the doors of Geoff Neal and Son Dry Cleaners, in Bridge Street, by a crane on the back of a lorry.

The new dry cleaning machine was hoisted by crane into Geoff Neal's Spalding business premises.

The new dry cleaning machine was hoisted by crane into Geoff Neal's Spalding business premises.

Boss Geoff Neal said: “When the old machine started to go wrong, I thought I could retire and pack up because I am 73 but my son, Ben, who runs the shop has got to look to something for his future.”

Geoff has been in business in Bridge Street since 1988 and the shop has been a dry cleaners since 1955.

The Neals say they have something unique to offer their customers as theirs is the only dry cleaners in Spalding to clean curtains and garments such as suits, wedding dresses and ball gowns on the premises.

The business offers a same-day service, which sometimes sees people travelling 40 or 50 miles to drop off items before doing a spot of shopping until their dry cleaning is ready to collect.

Opposite Neals is the now closed Store Twenty One, a stark reminder of the growing number of Spalding shops that have shut their doors over the last few months.

But Geoff isn’t ready to pack up.

“I could be retired,” he said. “But I don’t come to work for money, I come for the love of the job and to help Ben, to be honest.”

He believes more could be done to boost town centre trade, including bringing back short-term parking in Market Place.

The business opens 8am-5pm weekdays and until 2pm on Saturdays. Besides Geoff and Ben, who has worked in the business for 20 years, there are three part-timers.

• How can we best support our independent traders? Email lynne.harrison@iliffepublishing.co.uk

Previously ...

Senior councillor lashes out at Sainsbury’s over Spalding pod battle

Spalding traders fight “nail in the coffin” supermarket plan

Spalding Brantano store to close after retail chain goes into administration