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McDonald's to shut in Bishop Auckland
CAMPAIGNERS hoping to bring life back to a town centre have been dealt a bitter blow after McDonald’s announced it will close its doors next month.
The national fast food chain will close its store in Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland , at the end of October after concerns were raised over a fall in trade.
The news comes less than three weeks after Marks and Spencer announced it was to move its business to the out-of-town complex in nearby St Helen Auckland.
Traders and residents in Bishop Auckland are concerned the loss of major retailers out of the town centre could signal the end of the high street.
They also fear national retailers are being attracted to the St Helen Auckland site as opposed to the town centre.
Marks and Spencer, Pets At Home, Next, Brantano, JD Sports and Carphone Warehouse have all signed up to trade on the complex in recent weeks.
Mayor of Bishop Auckland, Councillor Charlie Kay said the departure of McDonald’s was not what the town needed.
“I’ve been told it is definitely going,” he said. “From a healthy food agenda it might not be seen as a bad thing but really it will be another empty outlet, which is not good for us.
“These are critical times for the town centre but I don’t think it has anything to do with the McDonald’s already at St Helen Auckland.”
Councillor Sam Zair added: “It is disastrous for the high street and goes against everything we have want to happen. It is not good news.
“If more units are given the go-ahead at St Helen Auckland it is going to be terrible for the town centre.”
A spokeswoman for McDonald’s said: “We can confirm that McDonald’s, together with our local franchisee, have decided to close the restaurant at Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland at the end of October.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly but as we constantly review our estate, it has become apparent that trading patterns in Bishop Auckland have changed and therefore we have taken the difficult decision to cease trading at this site.
“All staff have being offered transfers to neighbouring restaurants.”