ONE OF Dewsbury’s biggest town centre stores that was threatened with closure is staying open.
Overjoyed staff at Peacocks, a men’s and women’s fashion store, took the ‘closing down’ signs from shop windows on Friday.
The landlord of their Market Place premises has agreed a more realistic rent – and it’s now business as usual after months of uncertainty.
News that the national company has announced record profits for this year could ensure the future of the Dewsbury store for some time to come.
Former Labour councillor Eric Firth, chairman of Dewsbury Forward, a group that is promoting Dewsbury, spoke with staff about the surprise turn-around.
“If more out-of-town landlords followed this lead I’m sure it would speed up the regeneration of Dewsbury and other towns,” he said.
Mr Firth went into the shop when he noticed the closing down signs being removed.
“They’d been in the windows since Christmas and we all believed they would be closing any day,” he added.
Shop supervisor Katie Judson told him the shop was ready to close and steps had already been taken to re-deploy staff.
Then, at the 11th hour, the manager was able to tell staff they were staying.
Staff and faithful customers were celebrating the good news this week.
Katie said people had been coming in all week saying how delighted they were that they were not closing.
Mr Firth, a long-serving Dewsbury East councillor who lost his seat last month, has been involved with town centre regeneration efforts for many years and said: “This is fantastic news – another piece of the jigsaw proving that Dewsbury is fighting back.”