NORTHWICH'S MP says he will continue to press M&S to do right by the town, after today's confirmation that the Leicester Street store will close this year.

Mike Amesbury has fought alongside Cheshire West and Chester Council and others to keep the flagship chain in Northwich during a five-month consultation period.

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Now, he says he will meet again with CWAC and M&S to see what can be achieved.

Mike said: "I’m extremely disappointed with this latest development.

"Ever since we found out that M&S was planning to close its Northwich store I’ve been working hard with local councillors to try and see if we could keep them in the town for the benefit of both staff and shoppers.

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“I’ve had numerous meetings with both M&S and the council about this, including meeting senior figures from the company in Westminster.

“It would have been a big ask, as once firms of this size make a decision about mass closures and restructuring, they don’t usually change their mind. But the fact negotiations have gone on for this one store for so long is testimony to just how much we wanted them to stay and how much work was going on behind the scenes.

“Unfortunately, it seems that M&S are still determined to focus their efforts on this programme of national closures and cost-cutting.

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“But I will be speaking to the council’s chief executive and also with M&S to see what, if anything, can still be done.

“If we can’t change their mind then I’ll be working hard in my role as the local MP and shadow employment minister to make sure M&S stands by its commitment to its loyal and hard-working Northwich staff in finding them suitable alternative employment.”

Staff were told of the decision to close later this year this morning, Thursday, despite months of discussions and petitions.

Cllr Sam Naylor, of Northwich Town Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “It’s a massive blow for the people that work in M&S and it is sad news for the town.

“But Northwich has got a lot of good opportunities ahead and I’m still really positive about the future for our town.

“Both Mike Amesbury and CWAC have done their best to keep them in town, at Barons Quay, but M&S has decided that it has no future in Northwich.

“So it’s a massive blow for all of us but we will survive.”