The owner of an art gallery in a Suffolk village has said his business is facing challenges as the cost of living bites customers and bills shoot up. 

Peter Rumsey, who runs Mill Tye Gallery in Great Cornard, near Sudbury, said he has noticed people are less able to commit to buying art pieces sold at the venue due to cost of living pressures which, in turn, is making life harder for artists trying to sell their goods and stay afloat. 

Mr Rumsey said: "Even customers that have been very regular over the years in terms of coming in and buying things are sitting back and saying, 'we really want this but maybe we should think about it more'.

"We have had people come back three or four times to look at something and they say they are worried about when they turn their heating on again how much it is going to cost them and things like that." 

East Anglian Daily Times: Peter Rumsey, owner of Mill Tye GalleryPeter Rumsey, owner of Mill Tye Gallery (Image: Jackie Mellor/Just Jaq Photography)

And pressures aren't just affecting the customers, as Mr Rumsey said energy price hikes have seen the gallery's bills rise by around four times in the last couple of years leaving him cutting back on lighting upstairs to save costs.

He said things got harder during the height of the Covid pandemic and some people have only just started to return who last came in 2019. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Mill Tye Gallery, Great CornardMill Tye Gallery, Great Cornard (Image: Jackie Mellor/Just Jaq Photography)

"It has been a really difficult three or four years juggling everything from Covid to the cost of living," he said.

"We are still here, we still support young and upcoming artists and also some of the established ones as well. We hope people will continue to visit and enjoy what we have to offer.

"The gallery is important because a lot of our artists are in their early to late 20s or early 30s and they are trying to do this for a living.

"There's not a great deal of other places for them to exhibit their work around here. They are relying on us and that income as well." 

East Anglian Daily Times: Mill Tye Gallery in Great CornardMill Tye Gallery in Great Cornard (Image: Jackie Mellor/Just Jaq Photography)

Next month, Mill Tye Gallery will host the Iconic exhibition, a presentation of art textiles from Stitchers Inc that was two years in the making and which promises an innovative twist to quintessential design motifs drawn from sources both ancient and contemporary.

The group of artists based across South Suffolk and North Essex, have each drawn inspiration from an 'iconic' style or artist and Mr Rumsey said the exhibition is "interesting, unique and not to be missed".

The exhibition previews on Saturday October 7 from 10.30am to 6pm and continues until October 29.