A PHOTOGRAPHER says she is struggling to sell her business because Barnsley Council plans to hike up the rent.

Lyndsay Brown, of Picture Proud at Elsecar Heritage Centre, rents a unit at the site for £450 a month.

She has worked there for five-and-a-half years and was hoping the business would continue with a new owner in January.

But when she notified the council of the change in ownership she said she was told a new licence would be needed, meaning new rates of £696 a month - an increase of more than 50 per cent.

The buyers of the business have said they can't afford the increased rent and Lyndsay said she will have to close the business if the council insist on increasing it.

She added: ""Nobody is going to pay £700 for this unit. It's not exactly big; I think we have got about 800 square feet in total, there's no heating and there's no toilet.

"The new rent £8,347 for the year and for £10,000 to £11,000 you can get double the size in a better location with heating, water and toilets.

"They're just cutting off their own nose. They're going to end up with an empty unit after Christmas. They're talking about helping smaller businesses but they're just helping to close a small business."

Lyndsay said she has been told the new rates had been brought in following a review in 2010.

She said she has a loyal and large customer base and would be very disappointed if it closed.