A high street brand will shut its Workington branch next month.

H&M has revealed that it will close its Risman Place shop on September 15.

Richard Ashcroft, manager of the Washington Square shopping centre from which the shop operates, said he was extremely sad the store was closing.

He added: “We’re working with our property agents to try and get the shop re-let as soon as we can. It’s difficult because it’s such a big unit.

“We’re extremely fortunate because we have 61 units and once H&M closes there will only be three unoccupied ones. In the scheme of things nationally, that’s extremely good. We’re doing well, although we are disappointed H&M decided to leave.”

A shop spokesman said: “H&M Workington will close on September 15. Customers can continue to shop for quality fashion at the best price online at hm.com.”

She added that the firm was consulting with staff on an individual basis.

Mr Ashcroft said that he did not think there was anything missing from the town centre offering, but he would like to see a restaurant, bar or bistro taking over one of the empty units.

He said: “There’s definitely an opportunity for that and I think it would enhance the shopping experience. Washington Square is a fantastic shopping centre, but it doesn’t really go as far as places where you can go and have a glass of wine with your lunch or a G&T in the evening and that’s how shopping centres are going to change, more towards leisure. You see it now in the hub – people go to Costa, Muffin Break or Greggs which have outdoor seating and they sit and watch the world go by.

“It’s about the social interaction for people, not just the shopping. I would like to extend that a little and introduce a bit of a night-time offering.”

Mr Ashcroft said several factors were contributing to the decline of town centres up and down the country.

“One of the them is the competition from internet shopping and home deliveries. Another is the increase in supermarkets out of town. Back in the day you only went to the supermarket for your food shopping, now they’re a one-stop-shop where you can buy clothing, homeware and hardware items. They also come with very convenient free parking.

“Parking is an issue – people do object to paying for parking in town, but we’re looking into it with Allerdale council.”