TOWN Hall chiefs are adamant their £100m 365 masterplan to regenerate South Shields town centre will not be “blown off course” by Marks & Spencer’s closure.
Council leader Iain Malcolm said he will write to the board of M&S to ask it to reconsider the closure of the branch.
And if they won’t rethink the decision, he will push for Britain’s best-known retailer to re-locate back into the town as part of the 10-year 365 masterplan.
Expressing relief that all staff will be offered alternative employment, Coun Malcolm said: “This is a commercial decision by Marks & Spencer.
“I am disappointed, but it just reinforces the importance of South Shields 365.
“Town centres regionally and across the country are changing in nature due to the rise of online shopping, which has had a profound impact on our high streets.
“We have ambitious plans to re-energise our town centre and we won’t be blown off course by this decision.
“We will make representations to the board of M&S asking for them to reconsider and re-evaluate this decision and indeed for the company to be involved in 365 in the long-term.”