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B&Q to close Widnes store

B&Q Widnes

A MAJOR high street DIY store and garden centre is pulling out of Widnes.

B&Q is closing its 75,000 sq ft store on the Heron Business Park, with the loss of around 50 jobs.

It comes just six months after Homebase shut its DIY store and garden centre on the Bridge Retail Park in Runcorn, axeing 35 jobs.

Kingfisher, B&Q’s parent company, has announced the closure of 60 unprofitable stores across the UK over the next two years as part of a re-structuring programme.

A B&Q spokesman said: “We have let colleagues at our Widnes store know that their store is one of those planned for closure in the next financial year 2016/17.

“Our focus for the coming months is on redeploying as many colleagues as we can within B&Q and the Kingfisher Group.”

The company confirmed that around 50 people currently work at Widnes.

It opened with 110 staff in November, 2007.

The store is twice the size of its former outlet in Lugsdale Road which was demolished to make way for Tesco Extra.

The company has traded in the town since 1988.

Halton Council leader Cllr Rob Polhill vowed to help workers find alternative employment.

He said: “We will offer our services to help those affected.

“We will help wherever we can and work with Halton Into Jobs.

“It is always sad when companies close but coming just a few months before Christmas is really difficult for people.

“They’ve got mortgages to pay and other commitments. It must be a worry.”

Halton MP Derek Twigg said: “I am very sad to see this loss of jobs.

“It will be a worrying time for employees.

“I believe it also underlines the fragile state the economy is still in.

“I will continue to work with Halton Council and local businesses to try and secure more investment and jobs in Halton.”

Source : Barbara Jordan - Runcorn & Widnes World

22 October 2015

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