JOB LOSS fears have hit up to 40 workers following a superstore chain’s decision to close a supermarket in the centre of Hailsham.
The Co-operative Group confirmed to the Sussex Express that the Co-op store in North Street (in Quintins Shopping Centre) will be officially closed down on Friday, July 15.
A spokeswoman paid tribute to the hard work of the Hailsham staff who have been forced into looking to change their future career plans.
She said, “Staff at the Co-op store have been informed of the decision, which has been taken with the greatest reluctance and is not, in any way, a reflection on the commitment and hard work of the store team.
“Every effort will be made to redeploy as many as possible of the 11 full-time and 28 part-time members of staff with The Co-operative, or to help them find alternative employment.”
The closure has been announced whilst Wealden District Council has deferred giving planning permission for a new unnamed 14,000 sq ft store in the southern car park of the Quintins site.
Applicant Derbyshire County Council Pension Fund has been told to reconsider planning aspects such as the development’s design in a conservation area.
Malcolm Adams, chairman of Hailsham Chamber of Commerce, believed nationwide companies have been taking an increasing interest in Hailsham.
He cited as an example the recent opening of a new WHSmith in the town.
The chamber chairman also said there was a shortage of quality large units in the town centre for interested parties.
Mr Adams said, “It is a shame that the Co-op is going but most people expected it.
“It creates some opportunity for the town as well. The Co-op did seem to give up a little when Tesco arrived.
“While it will be a blow to the town, to be positive we have got to think there is a big unit available for larger companies to take on.”