North East Wales

3,000-name petition over Rhyl M&S closure handed in

Chris Ruane MP, with campaigners hoping to keep M&S in Rhyl
Image caption Campaigners say most in the town are "outraged" about plans to close the store

A 3,000-name petition opposing Marks & Spencer's plans to close its Rhyl store has been handed to Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane.

Mr Ruane said the size of the petition showed the "depth of feeling".

M&S, which plans to open a store in nearby Prestatyn, has previously said it would "consider all options" but had no further comment on the petition.

Denbighshire Council claims a move from Rhyl would have a "major adverse impact on the town centre".

The store has been open in Rhyl since 1932 but there are plans to move out early next year.

Mr Ruane said: "People in Rhyl and those that visit the town have a great affinity for this store which has served the town well for many, many years and I hope M&S bear this in mind when making their decision."

'Everyone outraged'

Vale of Clwyd AM, Ann Jones, said: "Marks & Spencer is an anchor store for Rhyl and this petition proves just how much loyal customers value it."

Rhyl resident Joe Beck, who handed over the petition, said: "Everyone is outraged.

"We have had massive support from local small businesses. We really do believe this would rip the heart out of the high street.

"We've had people of all ages signing the petition. We've had school children aged 11, saying it's where their nans buy their treats, and we've had a gentleman who's nearly 90 and he remembers the store being built."

M&S plans to offer the 55 workers jobs at the store in Prestatyn, redundancy or deployment to Llandudno or Chester.

Whilst it agreed to "consider all options", the chain has said it was still looking at closing the Rhyl store.

Mr Ruane has already met representatives of the company, and officials from the Welsh government and Denbighshire council, at Westminster.

He said he would forward the petition to the store's chief executive.

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