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Two floors of the building occupied by the Barbican Antiques Centre, which has been a fixture in the old part of Plymouth since 1971, are up for redevelopment, leaving a question mark over its future.

The oldest established centre outside London, it is just a year younger than Chelsea’s Antiquarius, opened by Bennie Gray in 1970.

Meanwhile the Victoria and Edward Antique Centre at 61 West Street in Dorking, for 21 years a fixture on one of Surrey’s best-known antiques streets, is closing on June 11, owing to an ongoing lack of trade. The centre, owned by Tony Crow, proprietor of Crow’s Auction Galleries in the town, accommodates around 30 dealers.

Hope is not yet over for the Plymouth centre, however.

Current owner Tony Craymer-Price, a dealer himself since the mid-1960s, bought the business and the freehold of the quayside property (a converted Victorian banana warehouse known as Jamaica House) in 1984. In the intervening years the Barbican Antiques Centre, on the ground floor of the building, has been the home to around 50 cabinets and has become a popular attraction in an increasingly fashionable part of Plymouth.

Mr Craymer-Price, who is now based predominantly in London and France, has long considered developing the first and second floors for residential use, and recently engaged a local architect to plan six luxury harbour-view apartments. With planning permission granted, he initially hoped to redevelop the property himself, but has ultimately chosen to market the project to developers who have already shown considerable interest in the freehold. It will be up to the new owner what happens to the Barbican.

Mr Craymer-Price is confident, however, that the centre will remain an emporium for antiques and collectables. “The ground floor retains its retail use and even the most hardest-nosed developer would struggle to find anything better than the centre for the property,” he said.