Wiltshire

Swindon Morrisons could shut five years after opening

Morrisons Regent Circus
Image caption The store opened in October 2014 as part of a new £50m leisure and retail complex

A large town centre supermarket could shut less than five years after opening as part of a £50m complex.

Morrisons is proposing to close its Regent Circus store in Swindon, which employs 113 staff, as part of a nationwide performance review.

The store opened in October 2014 in a new leisure and retail complex designed to regenerate the site of a derelict former college building.

Swindon Borough Council said plans to shut the store were "disappointing".

The Regent Circus complex has struggled to compete since it opened, with empty restaurant units remaining, and the closure of a Gourmet Burger Kitchen earlier in the year.

Dale Heenan from Swindon Borough Council, said the authority would "do all we can" to find a new business to take the space.

He said: "We are disappointed to learn of Morrisons' intention to close one of its three Swindon stores.

"Supermarkets, like all retailers, are facing a challenging time across the country and Morrisons is no different."

'Such a shame'

Shopper Angie Taylor said: "I live round the corner. It's a supermarket that we use regularly.

"I've got two young children and getting down to town is difficult. It's easier when it's on your doorstep."

And Emma Hillier added: "It's such a shame, really. It's used by so many people and we need something up at this end of town."

A Morrisons spokesman said: "As we continue to focus on building a broader, stronger Morrisons we are constantly reviewing opportunities for new stores and the performance of our existing estate.

"We are planning to invest in four new stores this year and are today, regrettably, proposing to close our Swindon Regent Circus store."

The store is one of four branches earmarked for closure, including outlets in Ince near Wigan, Shirley, near Solihull, and Crawley in West Sussex.

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