Responding to the announcement that the M&S store on High Street West in Sunderland city centre is due to close, Leader of the opposition Lib Dems on Sunderland Council Paul Edgeworth said:
“It is difficult to overstate what an absolutely devastating blow this is for Sunderland. M&S is one of the only big-name anchor shops left in the town and its departure will mean it is even harder to attract people to come and shop in Sunderland city centre.
“Given the importance of M&S to bringing people into the town and the amount of buildings that the Council now owns on this street, I am calling on Sunderland City Council to do everything it can to offer incentives for Marks and Spencers to change its decision and stay in the city centre.
“Seeing as the Council are subsidising other leisure facilities and hospitality venues in the city centre then they really need to be exploring every single option available to make it worth M&S’s while staying in Sunderland city centre. Otherwise this could be one of the final nails in the coffin for our retail offer – especially at a time when Free After 3 parking has been axed, incentivising people to choose places like The Galleries and Dalton Park over Sunderland.”