Cumbrian Marks and Spencer stores to stay open

Marks and Spencer store English Street, Carlisle.
Marks and Spencer store English Street, Carlisle.
Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 5:51PM

Confidence in Carlsile has been boosted by confirmation that Marks & Spencer's city centre store is not on a closure list.

The retail giant has named the six stores across the UK as part of a review of its estate - but none of these are in Cumbria.

This news has been welcomed and comes almost six months after a national closure programme was announced.

Fears locally were aggravated when Matthew Hopkinson, director of the Local Data Company, said he believed that both Carlisle and Barrow’s M&S stores were at risk of closure due to the “health” of the high streets.

Enterprise leaders in Carlisle, however, remain confident about the strength of the city's shopping scene.

Heather Bradley, Carlisle City Council's economy, enterprise and housing portfolio holder, was delighted with the news that neither of the city's branches - in English Street and a Simply Food outlet in Kingstown - would shut.

She said: "I am really pleased and once again it is recognition by a big, national retailer of the way in which Carlisle is thriving.

"The other thing is that those jobs are very important to us so it is really good news for the staff that these stores are continuing an it will at least partly be down to their efforts."

Alongside Carlisle M&S has stores in Kendal, Barrow, Workington and a Simply Food shops in Penrith.

Phil Collier, manager of Barrow’s Business Improvement District, said that it was not “realistic” that M&S would opt to close the store in the town.

Meanwhile, department store Debenhams, which has busy outlets in Carlisle, Workington and Barrow, has revealed it plans to review the future of 10 stores nationally. Their locations have not been announced.

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