New hope for future of Hartlepool BHS store

A lifeline has emerged for a Hartlepool store threatened with closure.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 3:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 3:17 pm
The BHS store in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool.

Creditors have backed plans to turn around the BHS business, which has a branch in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool.

They voted in favour of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) which aims to revive the ailing business by cutting costs and preventing widespread store closures.

Accountancy firm KPMG is helping the store giants to hold talks with the landlords of the sites where BHS has outlets.

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KMPG confirmed that, within the agreement, the Hartlepool branch is in a group of around 40 stores where the CVA allows for the business to keep trading and pay 30 per cent rent while negotiations take place between the landlords and the company for the longer term.

BHS chief executive Darren Topp said: “It is a tough time for retailers across the UK, with huge structural challenges faced by all.

“However, we have a very credible plan to return BHS to growth and profitability and a revitalised British Home Stores will emerge as we accelerate our turnaround plans.”

The town’s branch of BHS opened four years ago, providing work for 50 people.

KPMG officials said the Hartlepool store would be open for a period of a minimum of 10 months whilst negotiations continue.