(image credit: Weaver Vale Conservatives)
Weaver Vale Conservatives have launched a petition, calling on M&S bosses to scrap plans to close the firm’s Barons Quay store in Northwich.
In an update on Facebook today (Friday 25th January) the local Conservative party informed followers: “Yesterday, M&S management staff and management met with two senior council officials to talk about last week’s announcement.”
Read more: M&S Barons Quay set for closure
“We are hoping that the enormous level of local support will help management see that Northwich needs its M&S!
“The Conservative councillors have also written to the chief executive of M&S inviting him to come up to see all that Northwich has to offer, and the potential of our town for a reimagined store.
“This petition, with your support will help him understand the strength of feeling in our town.”
The post continued: “As local residents ourselves it is so sad to see the empty units of Barons Quay, and these empty units cost us, the taxpayer, money as well as undermining our high street.
“We believe the council needs to take some positive action to fill these shops and create the shopping area we were promised.
“Introducing parking charges hasn’t helped – we need to encourage people into our town so that businesses will want to invest here – not drive them away by car park charges.
“Like you, we love Northwich and are going to fight to keep it a vibrant and wonderful town where people want to live, work in and raise a family.”
Last week, Cllr Brian Clarke of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “It is deeply disappointing news.
“We recognise that the current retail environment for town centre high streets remains difficult.
“However, the news is particularly disappointing as other stores that have opened recently in Northwich are trading well, and in the case of The Entertainer toy store, significantly outperforming targets.”
Cllr Clarke added: “We are seeking an urgent meeting with senior representatives from M&S to try to establish whether there is any possibility that by working together we can retain the presence of this important retailer in the town.”
The Conservative councillors’ petition reads: “We the undersigned call on the management of M&S to rethink their decision to close the Northwich store.
“The community love and value our local M&S and the great staff team who have served us for years, who now face an uncertain future.
“As a community we ask you to work with us to retain the store, and rethink its offer. You are part of our high street, and we want you to stay.”
If you would like to see the M&S store in Northwich saved, you can add your name to the petition, here.
UPDATE: Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury has also started a petition to save the store. You can support that here.