BHS closure is '˜blow to town'

Blackpool Council is set to offer support to BHS staff in the town who have lost their jobs following the closure of all the chain's stores nationwide.

Saturday, 4th June 2016, 10:00 am
The BHS store in Church Street, Blackpool, is among 163 which have closed
The BHS store in Church Street, Blackpool, is among 163 which have closed

The Church Street outlet in the resort is among 163 shops which have shut after adminstrators failed to find a buyer for the retailer.

Coun Mark Smith, cabinet member for business and economic development on Blackpool Council, said: “It is a very sad day to see the loss of another historic high street brand and the loss of people’s jobs.

“I have been talking to Positive Steps, the council’s initiative to support people into employment, about how we can support staff to help them find other employment.

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“We will do what we can and will work with other agencies including the Job Centre and training providers.

“The staff will be very experienced in the retail industry so hopefully other retailers may be able to take them on.”

Coun Smith, whose Talbot ward also includes the BHS site, said he hoped another business would be able to take over the site.

He added: “It is a good location in the heart of the town centre so hopefully someone will take it over. It would be disappointing to see it empty for a long time.”

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “BHS has been in the DNA of UK high streets for decades and it is regrettable the closure will have a damaging impact on so many of its workforce.”

BHS fell into administration in April with a £571m pensions black hole and sparking an investigation by MPs.