Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament for Arfon Hywel Williams and MS Sian Gwenllian have described the news that Debenhams are set to close all their 124 UK stores as 'devastating news for Bangor.'
The high street chain has three stores in north Wales including one in the centre of Bangor.
Hywel Williams MP and Siân Gwenllian MS said,
‘This news underlines the dangers facing our high streets, as many businesses struggle to survive through the Covid-19 crisis and the public health measures which limit capacity and demand.’
‘The prospect of losing an anchor store like Debenhams is a major blow to any town, but the closure of the Bangor store would be felt doubly hard as it occupies a central position on the high street. Its closure would leave a huge hole to fill in the city centre.’
‘This announcement will be particularly devastating for the staff, who must be supported by Debenhams at a time when our local economy can ill-afford further economic uncertainty.'
'The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the closure of retail stores for prolonged periods has undoubtedly contributed to this announcement. Now more than ever, our town centres need urgent and targeted government support to help them recover post-Covid.'
'Plaid Cymru have proposed a series of measures to address the difficulties faced by our high streets and help rejuvenate town centres.'
'These include providing out-of-town businesses with targeted support to relocate to central locations to help regenerate town centres and a radical overhaul of business rates, providing high street firms with a fair renting framework.'
'Without practical solutions and an acknowledgment from government of the severity of the situation, then the outlook for our high streets will remain very bleak.'