Council leader reacts to today's announcement from Debenhams Wandsworth
Published: Friday, April 26, 2019
Following today’s news of Debenhams’ restructuring plans, Cllr Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, has expressed his regret that the store in Wandsworth Southside has been identified as one of the 22 earmarked for closure in 2020.
He said: "The arrival of Debenhams in Wandsworth town centre in 2015 signalled a new chapter for both the town centre and Southside shopping centre. It was a key milestone in the regeneration of the town which has been transformed over the last twenty years. I’m therefore disappointed at the news that it that is earmarked for closure next year. The challenges faced by the department store sector and Debenhams in particular have been well publicised and ultimately the sector and our town centres need to adapt to changing consumer tastes.
"I have today written to Debenhams thanking them for their contribution to the borough and welcoming their undertakings to support staff at the Wandsworth store through this difficult time. Debenhams worked closely with the council’s Workmatch service to place local people into the jobs created here and I have offered our continuing support to assist them find work elsewhere in the borough.
"I am confident that Wandsworth town centre will weather this setback. It continues to attract investment, creating new homes and jobs. We are working closely with TfL on the removal of the gyratory which will be transformative for the town centre, creating a great destination for local communities and visitors alike. The council will continue to press TfL for the earliest possible start on this vital project.
"Wandsworth is a borough of opportunity and there are many employment opportunities available now and in the future. Just today, Workmatch put on the Employ Wandsworth jobs fair with 50 employers and attended by 750 local people. It is a priority of this council to do what it can to help local people from all backgrounds benefit from these opportunities."