Marks and Spencer ‘committed’ to Widnes store plans

Michael Hunt

Marks and Spencer has said it is committed towards future plans to open a proposed new 45,000 sq ft store at Widnes Shopping Park, Widnes.

In the summer last year, M&S had joined companies such as Next and New Look in agreeing to become part of a retail development on the site of the old Windmill Centre.

Claire Denning, head of region at Marks & Spencer, said at the time: "It is a fantastic opportunity for us to bring the very best that M&S has to offer to many more customers in Cheshire."

M&S said back then it hoped the new store in Widnes would be open in 2010.

However, M&S announced yesterday it is making 1,230 of its employees redundant and closing 27 stores nationwide.

Lucy Kelly, who works for the corporate PR team at Marks & Spencer, nonetheless, reiterated M&S are committed to the Widnes scheme.

She said today: "The announcement made yesterday does not have an impact on our development plans. Nothing has changed since June. Marks & Spencer remains committed to Widnes Shopping Park."

Planners hope Widnes Shopping Park will attract shoppers from a wide area and give a major boost to the Widnes economy.

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