THE owners of an independent shop in Taunton are not re-opening following lockdown because the Covid-19 pandemic made them homesick.

Sammylou, which sells homeware items and gifts, will continue to trade online, but its outlet in Riverside Place has ceased trading.

Simon and Sam are returning to their native Newcastle to be closer to their family.

An unnamed business will be moving into the Riverside premises.

Sam said she had been "a blubbering mess" coming to terms with everything in recent weeks.

But she added: "I'm so super excited about Newcastle, my home town. Pretty much my entire family are up there.

"Covid has highlighted to me how far away we are from them."

Sam said she was approached by another business looking to move into larger premises, which sealed her decision to leave Taunton.

"It's been a huge rollercoaster, but in my heart we're 110 per cent doing the right thing," said Sam.

"We're not closing. We're continuing to trade online...and we're looking for new premises once we're back in Newcastle."