Hucknall and Bulwell MP and councillors' sadness as Wilko stores in both towns set to close

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Councillors in both Hucknall and Bulwell have expressed their sadness at the news the Wilko stores in both towns are now set to close.

Hucknall MP Mark Spencer has also spoken of his disappointment that the popular High Street chain could not be saved.

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Both Hucknall and Bulwell’s stores were not on the initial list of closures planned for this week, but all the chain’s stores are now set to close in the coming month.

The Wilko stores in Bulwell and Hucknall are set to close in the coming weeks. Photos: Google/John SmithThe Wilko stores in Bulwell and Hucknall are set to close in the coming weeks. Photos: Google/John Smith
The Wilko stores in Bulwell and Hucknall are set to close in the coming weeks. Photos: Google/John Smith

Rival retailer B&M has announced it has bought 51 Wilko stores, but has so far not said which ones they are.

And Poundland owners Pepco Group have announed they plan to buy 71 stores, incluing Worksop – but neither Hucknall nor Bulwell are on the list.

Mr Spencer said: “'I am very disappointed a deal could not be done to save the Hucknall branch of Wilko.

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"The staff members have been superb in continuing to serve the people of Hucknall with the uncertainty hanging over them.

"Me and my team are here to support them in anyway we can help find a new job.

"I will be writing to Poundland to find out if they have plans to expand their current shop to serve the people of Hucknall.”

Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader and Nottinghamshire Council Independent Alliance leader, said: “News our stores will close in the next month is devastating for both employers and our town centres.

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“As a council, we are offering as much support we can, alongside the Department for Work and Pensions to affected workers.

“These stores are a huge part of the retail offer in towns like Hucknall.

“Retailers like Wilko faced an existential crisis due inflationary pressure, the cost of living crisis and rising interest rates.

“I am disappointed the Government failed to look at options to save Wilko – just like they did with the banks.

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“If the Government was really serious about really levelling up , they would have intervened to project jobs and save our high streets.

“This will have a heavy impact on Hucknall and as council, we will act swiftly to attract retailers to fill the huge space left by Wilko.”

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Coun Lee Waters, who represents Hucknall Central on Ashfield Council and Hucknall South at County Hall, said: “This is clearly bad news for Hucknall and our hearts go out to all those staff who have lost their jobs.

“This will impact Hucknall and other towns and cities in the UK and I want to reassure residents that the work to fill the huge gap that will be left by Wilko has already started.”

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Similar disappointment at the demise of Wilko has also been expressed by Bulwell councillors on Nottingham Council.

Coun Ethan Radford, who represents Bulwell ward, said: “The closure of Wilko is a major blow to Bulwell and the local economy, as well as a concern for local people who work there.

"Myself and other local representatives are working to achieve the best outcome for staff, customers and Bulwell town centre.”

And Coun Sam Gardiner, who represents Bulwell Forest, said: “I was in Wilkos in Bulwell last week and the amount of shelves which were empty brought a real sense of sadness.

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“On behalf of our community, I would like to say a big thank you to all of the staff who have been so friendly and helpful over the years and I'm sure I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that we all wish you all the very best for the future in whatever you go on to do next.”

Coun Ben Bradley MP (Con), Nottinghamshire Council leader, said: “I was troubled to hear the news that despite extensive efforts to save the business, Wilko plans to close all of its stores.

"This will be a very difficult time for employees and their families who of course will be worrying about their future following the announcements.

"Wilko is much-loved Nottinghamshire-based retailer which has been the cornerstone of the local high street across Nottinghamshire for decades and it will no doubt leave a big void.

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"Things are still evolving, and I welcome the news that both B&M and Poundland plan to take over some of the sites which I hope will retain some of the workforce in those areas.

"Support is being made available to those effected via the Citizens Advice Bureau who have recently launched the Wilko Redundancy Advice Portal.

"I encourage all local Wilko staff to head to their website where there are a range of helpful links and information along with a list of all current job opportunities in the area.”