A HUSBAND and wife team who have run a gallery in York city centre for 22 years have closed the shop to focus all their efforts on the business’s website.

Porta Dextra Gallery, which specialises in contemporary hand-made jewellery and artwork, has been based on High Petergate next to Bootham Bar since 1997.

Owners Peter and Catharina Bottomley officially closed the shop on Tuesday.

The business in now running wholly from its website - www.portadextragallery.com - and will continue to sell British hand-made jewellery and artwork.

Catharina said: “We’ve had our website for about a year and it is progressing well. We want it to grow.

“Only two of us have run the shop for the past 22 years; we’ve got no staff.

“Closing the shop will free up more time to focus on the website.”

Remarkably, the couple have not had a single holiday in the time they have run the shop.

Catharina added: “We’re going to miss the shop. It hasn’t really dawned on us yet.”

The couple said rents and business rates have not influenced their decision to close the shop.

They also said running the business has been more time-consuming recently than when they first opened the gallery.

“There are more telephone orders and website orders, the nature of shopping has changed dramatically,” Catharina explained.

“When we first started out with the shop, we just had to concentrate on the shop. But recently it has been the shop, the website and social media.

“It’s juggling all that and being able to get it all perfect. It’s a lot harder than it used to be.”

The couple have thanked all their loyal customers who have supported them over the last 22 years.

“We have had so much repeat business,” Catharina said. “People who come into York once or twice a year continue to support us.

“Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had a lot of lovely comments, presents and cards.

“We hope people will continue to support us through our website.”

The couple’s decision to create the gallery was driven by a passion and love for all things hand-made in the UK and born out of frustration at not being able to find the beautiful jewellery that they were looking for.