EXCLUSIVE: Shocked staff at Westgate in March informed of its closure this morning

12:54 29 March 2011

Westgate Store in March which is to close.

Westgate Store in March which is to close.

Archant

TWENTY-five jobs are to go in March, when the Westgate department store shuts down this summer.

Westgate Store in March which is to close.

Shocked members of staff were given news of the closure and resulting job losses at a meeting early this morning.

Anglia Co-operative, the store’s owners, say they have taken the decision to close down because the shop is “no longer economically viable.”

Staff were not prepared to comment on the closure, but were clearly reeling from the news. There are currently six full time members of staff, and 19 part-timers.

The Westgate store has traded from its Station Road premises for more than 30 years.

Westgate Store in March which is to close.

The site has been sold to property developers, subject to contract, and it is believed that homes will be built there. The Society has entered into consultation with the trade unions, and will later consult with all members of staff.

Chief executive John Chillcott said: “The decision to close was taken with great reluctance after all other avenues were pursued.

“The Society, after careful consideration, has unfortunately come to the conclusion that the Westgate department store in March is no longer economically viable to operate in the long term, and on that basis the Society has accepted an offer on the store from a third party developer.”

The site has been sold to Reef Estates Ltd. Mr Chillcott said: “At this stage, contracts have been exchanged, however this is subject to planning permission being granted.

Westgate Store in March which is to close.

“Should the planning be accepted, then this would mean that the store will cease trading and as a consequence, the staff are faced with a potential redundancy situation.

“The planning process can take six weeks, and therefore it is anticipated that the store will close in July or August.”

The Anglia Co-operative Travel branch based in the store is not affected by the sale; it is due to move to separate premises in the town shortly.

Two other Anglia Co-operative businesses in March, March Funerals in City Road and the food store in Badgeney Road are unaffected.

Westgate Store in March which is to close.

The Society says that the Westgate department store in Wisbech will continue to trade

0 comments

More news stories

Yesterday, 16:06
Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s bid to open a store in Whittlesey looked increasingly fragile tonight after their late efforts to overturn “onerous” planning conditions were rejected by Fenland District Council.

Yesterday, 10:53
Kamel Bourgass

Two high-profile terrorist prisoners, including one held in Cambridgeshire, who were segregated for extended periods have won challenges at the UK’s highest court.

Yesterday, 19:30
Councillor Kay Mayor.

A councillor says her decision to stand down from Fenland District Council’s plannning committee was not “entirely” down to the decision to approve the controversial Showfields application last week.

Yesterday, 19:00
Heritage Lottery Fund

The experiences of teenage evacuees living in Fenland during the Second World War will be the focus of a project made possible by a £40,900 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Cambs Times e-edition today E-edition