Over 40 jobs at risk as store faces threat of closure.
Byline: Eleanor Steafel Reporter email@example.com
MORE than 40 people in Cramlington could stand to lose their jobs after a branch of Morrisons announced it faces being closed down.
The Brockwell Centre store, which stands alongside a medical centre and several other small shops in Cramlington, is one of ten branches under consideration for closure.
In a letter to Councillor Grant Davey, Morrisons said they no longer considered the store viable. The letter said: "It is with regret I can confirm that Morrisons Cramlington, Brockwell Centre is one of the stores under consideration for potential closure.
"We have looked extremely carefully at whether the store can be turned around, but unfortunately we cannot see a way of making it viable.
"We are consulting with colleagues and unions to reduce the risk of redundancies and we are looking at ways of redeploying colleagues around our business." But Cramlington North councillor Wayne Daley said the decision to close the store could have a huge effect on the local community.
He said: "I am very surprised and concerned that this is under way. I think Morrisons have made a big mistake here.
"There is a very good medical centre there, a take away and a newsagents. It's a sort of small community shopping centre really. "But Morrisons are the biggest pull for that area, so I worry what it would mean for the other businesses if it were to go."
Mr Davey, who is setting up a Facebook campaign to fight for the store, said he was concerned for the 47 people who could stand to lose their jobs.
He said: "The company are claiming that the store is not viable and is making a loss. But staff have told me that the store is making money, but it's just that the rent is too high.
"A number of young people have jobs there and overall 47 people would stand to lose their jobs, so I'm very concerned for my residents."
Labour councillor Grant Davey agreed, saying: "It's a real blow to the retail offer in Cramlington if Morrisons choose to close the Brockwell store and we're determined that we'll stand up for the local area and the staff who will lose their jobs if this goes ahead.
"We'll leave no stone unturned to seek to influence and persuade Morrisons that the store does have a future."
But Morrisons said in a statement that they will endeavour to reduce the risk of redundancies.
A spokesperson said: "We have looked extremely carefully at whether the store can be turned around but unfortunately we cannot see a way of making it viable. "We are therefore proposing its closure. We are consulting with colleagues and unions to reduce the risk of redundancies and we are looking at ways of redeploying colleagues around our business."
I am very surprised and concerned. I think Morrisons have made a big mistake hereWayne Daley
Wayne Daley at Morrisons at the Brockwell centre Cramlington.