Mayor of Bourne says closure of The Co-operative in Burghley Centre would be ‘disastrous’

Co-operative store in the Burghley Centre, Bourne

Co-operative store in the Burghley Centre, Bourne

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The mayor of Bourne has said the closure of The Co-operative in the town centre would be “absolutely disastrous”.

The Central England Co-operative confirmed to the Mercury yesterday that it was consulting on the closure of the store in the Burghley Centre after a number of readers contacted us about the rumours.

If the closure in the new year goes ahead, 45 members of staff may lose their jobs.

In a statement, a spokesman from Central England Co-operative said: “The Society is proposing to close its food store on Hereward Street, Bourne on Saturday, January 28, 2017.

“It is with great regret that the board of directors has taken this very difficult decision which was taken following a full review of the store’s trading performance, which has indicated a decline in sales with increasing losses projected in future years.

“Like other retailers, we are constantly adapting to retail challenges at a local level and please be assured this decision was not taken lightly and is necessary to protect the long-term future and growth of the Society as a whole.”

The spokesman went onto say: “This decision in no way reflects upon the excellent endeavours of the staff at Bourne and the board of directors would like to thank them for their commitment and dedication.

“The proposed closure will affect 45 members of staff who the Society is now in consultation with. When taking these decisions we always aim to take into account the best interests of both the business and our colleagues. Where possible we aim to offer colleagues opportunities to be redeployed into other business areas.”

Mayor of Bourne Colin Pattison said leaving such a large unit empty would be “absolutely disastrous for the town centre”.

He said the store was vital to people, particularly elderly people, living in the town centre and he added: “It’s a really useful facility and whenever my wife and I are in town, we pop in and it seems to be really busy especially the cigarette kiosk and the National Lottery kiosk.

“I know some of the staff members have worked there for many years and they are always polite and friendly. It’s a huge blow.

“To have a store of that size empty in the middle of town is a disaster.”