Jobs to go in store closure

ONE of Hartlepool’s biggest stores is to close later this year with the loss of 21 jobs.

The Westgate Department Store, in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, will shut its doors on Wednesday, November 30.

The store, which sells a wide range of products including home furnishings and appliances and also houses a travel agents, is run by Peterborough-based Anglia Co-operative, which runs similar stores across the UK.

The news comes as a blow to shopping centre chiefs who had been boosted by the arrival of national chain BHS, which will take over the former Woolworths store at the turn of the year.

The closure means 21 full-time and part-time staff face redundancy, with company bosses opting against extending the lease, which runs out at the end of November.

The staff were told of the closure at a meeting on Monday.

A spokesman for Anglia Co-operative said: “The lease on the building runs out at the end of November, and although the society has investigated options for the future operation of the store unfortunately no viable operating arrangement can be identified.

“We would like to publicly thank the staff for their loyal service to Anglia Co-operative over the past 10 years and wish the 21 people concerned all the very best for the future.”

Anglia Co-operative took control of the store in June 2001 from E Upton and Sons.