A HARROGATE institution is preparing to shut up shop.

Jespers of Harrogate, a stationery and fountain pen specialist, has been trading in the town since 1901 and has been at its current site on Oxford Street since the 1960s.

But now, fourth-generation retailer Peter Jesper is preparing for retirement and is selling up.

With his three children settled in other careers, Peter is hoping that a buyer can be found for the business as an ongoing concern to continue the Jespers story.

He said: "Harrogate is embarking on exciting times as a Business Improvement District with new ideas and investment to steer what I am confident will be a vibrant future."

The building is being sold by another established Harrogate business, surveyors and property agents FSS.

Peter's great-grandfather, Foster Barrett Jesper, opened his hand-engraving business in an attic workshop on Prospect Crescent in 1901.

Today, the shop's retail space covers three floors with stationery and pens on the ground floor, arts and crafts supplies on the lower ground floor and a display of office furniture on the first floor.