Key Hartlepool store to close early next year

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HARTLEPOOL’S town centre Marks & Spencer store is set to close and re-locate to a retail park.

The store in the town’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre will be shut early next year with the high street giant opening a food store on Anchor Retail Park, off Marina Way, near to where Next and Matalan are based.

Marks & Spencer bosses say there will be no job losses as a result of the move - but it will come as a huge blow to Middleton Grange and the future of town-centre shopping.

Bosses announced the opening of a new store yesterday - but refused to be drawn on the future of the Middleton Grange shop.

But this morning, the firm contacted the Mail with the revelation after informing staff of the changes.

A spokeswoman for the store said: “We have given the relocation a great deal of consideration and it is not a decision that we have taken lightly.

“The new store will offer a much bigger M&S food selection and an improved shopping experience, including a new 50-seat M&S Café and free parking.

“Most of all, we want to ensure we are in the best location to serve our customers, and one which is fit for the future of M&S.

“We believe we have found this in Anchor Retail Park.”