Business leaders in Barrow have shown concern over the announcement high-street retail chain Game is to close stores.

Fears come as the gaming specialist chain announced plans to close 40 stores across the UK.

The firm confirmed that 27 sites have already been served notice, although it is not clear if its branches in Cumbria are among them.

Colin Garnett, Barrow BID manager, said: “The Game store is in a prominent position in Portland Walk and if it is to close it will leave a significant gap in Barrow’s retail core.

“This is another example of how declining footfall and high rent and rates is affecting National Chain stores across the UK.

“It is a time for private landlords and the Government to address these issues and help National Retailers before we lose them all to the high street.

“I personally feel for any staff members who might be set to lose their jobs and Barrow BID will work focus on attracting businesses into the town centre to provide more choice for the Barrow public and retail opportunities for workers affected by store closures.”

Stuart Klosinski, the former programme and project manager for Furness Economic Development Forum, added: “We would hope that the Barrow Game store is not effected by these changes.

“With the investment going on in the area in new development and housing we would hope this store can be safeguarded.

“Any considerations that are made should take into consideration that the town centre has been offered further investment opportunities thanks to the success of the shipyard.”

Stores served notice include those in Mansfield, Canterbury, Watford, Glasgow Fort and Leicester.

The second wave of branches are outlets owned mostly by Intu and New River.

Game said it intended to serve notice on the additional sites in the near future but has not published a full list of stores under threat.

Game in Barrow did not want to comment at this time.