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The Taunton closure will mean the loss of two jobs through natural wastage, though positions have been found for the remaining three Taunton staff. The ending of monthly sales will allow the auctioneers to expand their weekly general sales and increase their fine art sales, currently held on a quarterly basis.

“Our strategy of holding fewer but bigger sales has been an overwhelming success,” said Lawrence’s managing director Helen Carless. “The close links which have been created in Taunton and West Somerset will be maintained with Luke Macdonald remaining as the area representative,” she added. The Corfield Hall salerooms in Taunton were purchased by Lawrence’s six years ago. They will now be leased.