A MAJOR legal firm is closing its branch in South Tyneside.
Thompsons Solicitors has had an office in Fowler Street, South Shields, since 2004.
Friday was the company’s last day of trading in the town, and it will now be moving to the firm’s head office in Newcastle.
It is understood there has been no job losses incurred during the move.
A spokeswoman for Thompsons, which has appeared in the Gazette numerous times for its success in fighting for the rights of asbestos victims, said: “Due to operation reasons we will no longer be working from South Shields as of Friday, June 14.
“All of our customers have been notified of the changes and there will be no disruption to our service, business will continue as normal come Monday morning.”
There will now be fears that the site, like many others in nearby King Street, will remain empty for a considerable amount of time.
In a bid to make vacant shops look more attractive, South Tyneside Council has been creating ‘virtual’ shop fronts.
The move sees the use of vinyl windows to decorate empty shops – and to promote the council’s £100m ‘365’ vision to transform South Shields over the next decade.
Coun Michael Clare, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for regeneration and economy, said: “We are very sorry to hear that Thompsons Solicitors has decided to move out of South Shields and consolidate its operations at its Newcastle office.
“It’s unfortunate that as a consequence the company will miss out on the opportunities that the council is creating through its 365 regeneration, which will see new retail, leisure and community improvements in the town centre.”