A NUMBER of pharmacies in the Taunton area are set to close in the New Year.

The Boots pharmacy attached to St James Medical Centre, off St James Street, Taunton, will pull down the shutters for the last time in February.

Store manager Alice Barnett Jones said: "We're closing on February 23 and merging with the Boots pharmacy in High Street.

"In a way it's quite sad, but it's probably for the best as we're just trying to get the right amount of people in the correct place."

She added that there will not be any job losses.

Also disappearing after a quarter of a century is Bishops Lydeard Pharmacy.

A spokesperson said: "We are very sorry to announce that, due to on-going government funding cuts to community pharmacies, we are no longer able to continue trading as we are.

"As from March 1, 2024, we will cease to legally trade as a pharmacy.

"The absence of a pharmacist will mean the loss of over-the-counter healthcare advice and the cessation of selling over-the-counter medicines.

"The majority of our customers will revert back to being dispensing patients for which there will still be a medicine supply service as long as you are registered at Quantock Vale Surgery.

"New technology will be used to maintain dispensing accuracy in the absence of a pharmacist.

"Unfortunately, all other patients not registered at Quantock Vale Surgery will need to use another pharmacy to obtain their medicines.

"We are working very hard with Quantock Vale Surgery to maintain continuity of service.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their loyalty since our opening in 1999."

The Day Lewis Pharmacy, nine miles away in Wiveliscombe, is looking to pick up some of the Bishops Lydeard customers.

In a Facebook post, a spokesperson has written: "We know your local Bishops Lydeard pharmacy is closing, and we understand that change can be tough.

"Our Day Lewis Pharmacy is only 15 minutes away and our team is ready to welcome you!"

As previously reported on the County Gazette website, the Boots pharmacies in Coopers Mill, Norton Fitzwarren, and attached to Wellington Medical Centre will also cease trading in February as part of the company's "store optimisation programme" to concentrate the workforce "more efficiently".