A LONG-RUNNING bookstore which was on the brink of potential closure is set to be moved to a new location and transformed into a creative hub.

Caxton Books & Gallery, in Connaught Avenue, Frinton, has been run by business partners Judith Charlesworth, 57, and Sally Johnson, 58, for the past 14 years.

Part of the seaside town’s fabric, the quaint store has been a permanent fixture in the area for more than 40 years and has been used by generations.

Towards the end of last year, after fighting the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Judith and Sally were forced to considered moving the business on.

But after hearing of the pair’s woes, Clive Brill, 60, producer, and artistic director of the Frinton Summer Theatre, decided to step in and reignite the project.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Team - Judith, Clive, and SallyTeam - Judith, Clive, and Sally

He said: “My ears pricked up and I got very excited because I love Frinton and want to get even deeper into it and thought this was opportunity to create a cultural hub.

“It took us a while to sort out and we did not come to an agreement with the existing landlord after the lease ended, so we have now moved in to the old Natwest building.

“We will be putting in a pop-up shop which we will have for at least five months, but my dream is for us to stay in one place and not be moving around.

“I do not know what the future is, but Caxton is going to continue in some form, and I see it as a way to cement my future here in Frinton.”

The new project will look to incorporate various elements of the Frinton Summer Theatre, will double-up as a box office, and continue to sell books and artworks.

Although the business is now mainly being run by Clive, Judith and Sally are set to remain very much onboard and involved.

But according to Judith, who launched what was a successful fundraiser in 2019 to save the bookshop, the store is as much theirs as it is the community’s.

She said: “It was always a worry we could close for good with coronavirus coming along and it has been a very challenging few years.

“But this just feels like a real positive move and we are going into a bigger building, so we have many more possibilities, and the future looks happy.

“Caxton is such a part of Frinton and was here long before we took over, so it is really important to have it continue.

“We must say thank you for the community for all the support, because this is happening because of the crowdfunding people got onboard with.”

The new Caxton Books will open on April 12 and the store’s popular Cinema-on-Sea events are also set to return very soon.

To find out more visit facebook.com/caxtonbooksfrinton.