September 11, 2015
Morrisons proposes closure of its store in Burnham - full reaction

Burnham-On-Sea's Morrisons supermarket on the town's seafront could be set to close, the firm has revealed this week.

The supermarket announced the proposed closure of 11 stores across the UK as part of a cost-cutting move - with Burnham's one of those affected.

A Morrisons spokesperson confirmed to Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We have looked extremely carefully at whether our store in Burnham-On-Sea can be turned around but unfortunately we cannot see a way of making it viable. We are therefore proposing its closure. We are consulting with colleagues and unions and we will be discussing how to reduce redundancies and redeploy colleagues around our business."

Burnham-On-Sea's MP James Heappey said he is saddened by the news. He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Whilst Morrisons, along with other supermarkets, have been in the firing line this summer over milk prices; the proposed closure of their store in Burnham is very sad news."

"Clearly the first priority is those who work there and I understand that Morrisons is working with employees and the unions to minimise redundancies. I am in contact with Morrisons' head office and will watch that process closely."

"Later on, we will need to know the future of that site. Other supermarkets have been mooted but clearly it is a prime spot in Burnham and it is vital that whatever goes there next will boost the local economy and be in keeping with the rest of town. I stand ready to work with the local councils to make sure that is the case."

Town Centre Manager Beverley Milner Simonds gave her reaction to the news: "My immediate thoughts are with the many staff at the local store who will be facing a period of great uncertainty as the official consultation period commences. I understand that Morrison's have issued a statement that the consultation is with a view to close the store and that they will strive to redeploy colleagues, this will be little comfort to the staff as we approach the festive period. I have been in contact with Sedgemoor District Council's Economic Development team and we are meeting early next week to discuss the possibilities that are being pursued and the opportunities this may present. I am keeping the Town Councillors informed as we move forward and have invited the Chamber of Trade and James Heappey MP to that meeting so we can share our proposals for the site. My focus is on getting the site re-let, sold or redeveloped as rapidly as possible so as to create job opportunities locally. The conversations with Economic Development have been positive and I will keep the pressure up to get a solution in place. The Morrison's site, with its large car park, is a gateway to the town and I hope that by working closely with we can bring plans forward for it's speedy redevelopment."

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