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Council statement on proposed closure of M&S in Buxton

Council Leader, Councillor Tony Ashton, said: "We are disappointed at the news that M&S is consulting on the closure of its Buxton store. It would seem that the proposals do not take into account the continued investment that is happening in the town.

"Over £106m of investment has been made in the town's built heritage and later this year the redeveloped Crescent will open bringing new high quality hotel accommodation and a state-of-the-art thermal spa - the only one of its kind in the North of England.

"Buxton has also attracted significant new housing development and through the Council's Local Plan 2,450 homes will be built bringing an additional £22.8 million household expenditure into the town.

"Consequently, we have contacted M&S to set up a meeting to explain the investment that has taken place and the further plans which show that the town is at an exciting phase of its development.

"The Council has also supported the development of a new visitor economy strategy for the town. This will build on the success of tourism which has seen visitor numbers increase by almost 5% to over 4.5 million since 2016 and tourism expenditure contributing over £250 million to the local economy. Now is not the time to announce the closure of a popular shop in the town and put jobs at risk."

Yesterday (Tuesday 15 January) the Council put in place a series of actions to respond to the M&S proposals including:

1.       Setting up a task force in the Council to respond to the announcement

2.       Continuing to negotiate with new businesses who are investing in the town

3.       Continuing to prepare a bid to the Government's Future High Street Bid for investment in the town centre which we will be submitting by the deadline     of 22 March

4.       Getting the support of our partners such as the D2N2 Local Enterprise Council and the University of Derby to make the case for M&S to stay in the town