The only independent butchers left in Braintree has closed - to the shock and dismay of its customers.

Meat Inn Ltd, which was set up in 1980, has announced that it is selling the production factory on the Springwood Industrial Estate, in Braintree, and seven butchers shops, including the outlet in Bank Street.

The shop in Halstead's High Street was also up for sale but had now been bought.

The business, which also includes shops in Sudbury, Diss, Ipswich, Luton and Bury St Edmunds, is on sale for £77,000 after the manager announced his retirement.

A statement by Hilton Smythe business transfer agents said: “Hilton Smythe welcomes to the market the Meat Inn Ltd.

“Originally founded by our client in 1980 this fantastic business boasts the production factory based in Braintree and eight butchers shops all with a well established clientele and excellent reputation and reluctantly come to the market as our client looks towards retirement."

See this week's Braintree and Witham Times for the full story and reaction.