A TRADITIONAL wine shop in the centre of Devizes is to close on Saturday a year after its former manager, who had worked there since leaving school, retired from the Wadworth business.

For many people Colin Garrett was the face of Edwin Giddings and his decision to swap shop life in St John's Street for landscape painting has been closely followed by the decision to close the business.

In recent years a cafe and delicatessen have been added to the wine store but Wadworth confirmed this week that the shop was about to close. A spokesman said: "Edwin Giddings, the wine store and deli in Devizes is to close on the 6th January. All of the team at Giddings will be offered alternative opportunities in the Wadworth pub estate.

"Giddings managers Harriet and Mark are moving to take over the management of the Waggon and Horses at Beckhampton."

Wadworth chief executive has been carrying out a major review of the entire Wadworth estate since joining the company two years ago. He pointed to the fact that the company is investing heavily in two major pub refurbishments in Devizes that Wadworth was committed to spending money in the town.

The Bell on the Green is to undergo a major revamp costing around £250,000 to create what Wadworth calls a more sports focused environment. Another £270,000 is being spent on upgrading letting rooms and other areas at the Black Swan in the Market Place.

Mr Welham said: "We will continue to invest in the right pubs in our estate and Devizes and I believe that the upcoming investments at the Bell and the Black Swan will provide fantastic amenities for the local community and visitors alike to the town.

"We have traded Edwin Giddings for some years but the time has come for us to refocus our efforts on our core pub and beer business. I’d like to thank the team at Giddings for the great work they have carried out. We will be supporting the whole team as we look to provide new roles for them within our pub estate.”

Mr Garrett, 53, left Edwin Giddings last January after joining the wine shop straight from Devizes School.

He said at the time: "When I first started in the early 1980s people didn't drink much wine. They might have a glass of Liebfraumilch now and again but when they came in here they were a bit scared they didn't know anything about wine.

"I liked to take the snobbery away from it and show them they did know what they liked."