Burnham-On-Sea’s Morrisons supermarket is set to close its doors for the final time today (Sunday) with the loss of scores of jobs.
The store in Pier Street will close at 4pm this afternoon, leaving a huge question mark hanging over the future of the seafront site.
A new petition to try and protect the site as a supermarket, preventing new flats or homes, has been signed by over 900 people. The new petition can be signed online here.
The closure, which was first announced in September, leaves dozens of staff at the store without jobs just a month before Christmas.
Some staff have been redeployed to other Morrisons stores in the area, including the Bridgwater distribution depot, but many others have been laid off.
A Burnham Chamber of Trade spokesman said: “The Chamber regrets the final closure of Morrisons and is ready to work with the landlord, Morrisons as it retains a ten year lease on the site, the Town Centre Manager and other interested parties to find a viable future for the site as soon as possible. The Chamber urges its members to publicise widely any job vacancies to ensure that those losing their jobs know of the local employment opportunities.”
Campaigners Gaynor Brown and Lyn Salvidge have collected hundreds of signatures for the new petition in recent days, as pictured here. Gaynor said on Saturday: “The petition is going well and there’s lots of interest in protecting the store’s site from development. It’s a sad weekend to see the store closing.”
A Morrisons spokesperson said: “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.”
The decision to close comes despite a local campaign to try and save the store. A petition was signed by around 2,400 people calling for the firm to reconsider the closure. A protest was also held during a Town Council meeting where residents and staff waved signs and called for action to save the store.
Morrisons announced earlier this autumn that 11 stores across the UK had been earmarked for closure as part of the cost-cutting moves.
The 11 are Burnham-On-Sea, Castletown in Sunderland, Clevedon, Little Hulton, Northallerton, Oldbury, Salford, Shildon, Streatham, Tyldesley and West Bromwich.