Business closures spark job fears

SEVERAL jobs could be at risk due to businesses being forced to close after becoming victims of the latest spending squeeze.

A number of high street retailers have announced closures as well as a bank choosing to restructure and sell-off a number of its branches.

In Skegness, a question mark hangs over the future of the chocolate giant chain store, Thorntons, who recently said it planned to close up to 180 of its branches over the next three years due to weak spending on the high street.

Hundreds of jobs across the nation could be at risk at the British confectioner, but officials have yet to release which stores face the axe.

Glenis Brown, Chairman of the Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce, said of the shops in town, “We are very lucky in Skegness when shops close, so many more open. People come to Skegness for the quirky shops, they like the unusual and buying things they can’t get at home. Again we are very lucky in this economic downturn.”

Lloyds TSB have also announced plans to sell-off branches as part of a restructuring plan.

The branch in Roman Bank, Skegness has been earmarked for closure but will reopen and form part of new banking business.

The Lloyds Banking Group confirmed which six Lincolnshire branches are set to form part of the new Verde Business, these include, Skegness, Gainsborough, Louth, two in Lincoln and Long Sutton.

The bank must do this to keeps its obligations under the State Aid commitments. As part of the Group’s restructure plan with the European Commission, it has agreed to the sale of a retail banking business with at least 600 branches, a 4.6 per cent share of the personal current account market in the UK.

The sell-off of the branches is not scheduled to complete until 2013 therefore services for both Lloyds TSB and Cheltenham and Gloucester will remain unchanged at this time.

In a statement they said, “Colleagues affected by the divestment will see no change to their employment until the sale completes and whilst working for the Group they can apply for jobs within or outside the divested network.”

Elsewhere across the country, fashion retailer, Jane Norman announced uncertainties, as well as hints of closures on the horizon for Carpetright and electronic retailer, Comet.

Customers with any questions about Lloyds TSB and how it may impact them should visit their local branch or call 0845 3000 000.

l Are you worried about shops closing in town? Email amy.gallivan@jpress.co.uk