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Final curtain for the Lace Centre

15 April 09 16:32 GMT

A museum which showcased and conserved Nottingham's world-famous lace industry has closed.

A slump in sales at the centre - which has been in the city for nearly 30 years - caused The Lace Centre to shut its doors on Tuesday evening.

A lack of supply and dwindling visitor numbers also forced the directors to close the centre.

Experts said the once flourishing lace industry no longer existed in the East Midlands, with one manufacturer left.

Richard Granger, chairman of The Lace Centre, said: "It was very sad closing the door for the last time last night.

"We have seen it coming for a long time, mainly because of people's different buying habits."

'Dwindling' trade

Mr Granger, who comes from three generations of lace manufacturers, said most lace business as well as his own had been wound up by early this century.

He said: "Lace manufacturing in the East Midlands has dwindled over the years.

"This was always a big garment manufacturing base; it gradually started going off-shore."

Mr Granger accepted that there was still a demand for lace for clothing but said the need for household lace no longer existed.

He said: "People are not buying lace tablecloths, they are buying flatscreen tellies and iPods."

The closure of the centre has left the medieval Severns Building empty.

Nottingham City Council - which owns the building - said it had no immediate plans for the premises but welcomed ideas from the public.

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