Welwyn Garden City reacts to Debenhams closure news

PUBLISHED: 17:13 26 April 2019

Debenhams in Welwyn Garden City is one of 22 stores earmarked for closure. Picture: Alan Davies

Debenhams in Welwyn Garden City is one of 22 stores earmarked for closure. Picture: Alan Davies

Alan Davies

Welwyn Garden City has been reacting to the news that the town's Debenhams store is set to close in 2020.

Rob Bridge, chief executive of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said: “We are sad to hear the disappointing news from Debenhams today.

“Officers would be happy to meet with their team to offer support to work alongside plans they will be putting in place to help employees living locally affected by the closure.

“We're committed to ensuring Welwyn Garden City thrives, and continues to be an attractive and vibrant environment for residents, shoppers and businesses.

“We hope the regeneration plans on the horizon – including a £6.2m investment from Homes England – will help attract other major retailers to this prominent space, as well as creating exciting opportunities for new shops and businesses in the heart of the town centre.

Rosie Newbigging, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield, said: “This is a devastating blow to the town centre, a town centre that is already suffering with empty shops.

“This was an iconic store that helped bring people into our town - this is also a massive blow to those hardworking people losing their jobs.

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“Labour is committed to investing in, and rebuilding high streets to benefit the whole community.”

Readers have also taken to the WHT's Facebook page to share their opinions on the closure, and also what could replace it,

Comments include:

“That was the only reason I went to WGC.”

“If it had been more homeware and furniture it would have done better, there's too much competition for clothes in WGC.”

“It is a shame but no surprise, every visit was disappointment.”

“It's sad for the staff, but I think a Primark would be better and would bring a lot more money and people to the town.”

“With only two and a half years left on the lease this was bound to happen.”

“Put something useful there like a Wetherspoon.”

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