Business leaders’ woe over Dearne jobs loss bombshell

An artist's impression of how the proposed new supermarket in Mexborough would have looked.

An artist's impression of how the proposed new supermarket in Mexborough would have looked.

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Business bosses, trade leaders and councillors have spoken out over a number of scrapped developments which will result in job losses in the Dearne.

Hundreds of jobs will be lost after two major supermarket developments were scrapped while a bakery store chain is also facing potential collapse.

Vacant Land, next to Mexborough Train Station, off Station Road. Picture: Marie Caley NSYT 02-02-15 Mexborough Vacant Land MC 3

Vacant Land, next to Mexborough Train Station, off Station Road. Picture: Marie Caley NSYT 02-02-15 Mexborough Vacant Land MC 3

A planned £10 million pound supermarket and petrol station near Mexborough Railway Station has been axed with the loss of 250 proposed jobs.

The hammer blow comes just days after Tesco announced their Metro store, close to the site in Mexborough High Street, will shut with the loss of an additional 55 jobs.

Meanwhile Cooplands – which has several stores across the Dearne including in Mexborough, Conisbrough, Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Wath, also revealed it could close and warned of potential job losses.

A letter to staff explained the company lost money last year and has continued to see a decline in sales.

Documents go on to say Cooplands was bought by Resolve which is reviewing the business. It states options for the future include finding a buyer, the business becoming smaller, or closure. All options are understood to include job losses. Nobody from the firm was available for comment.

Mexborough market trader Phil Toone, 60, said a number of stall-holders were always against the building of the proposed new supermarket near the train station, but he described the loss of Tesco in the High Street as a setback.

The former chair of Mexborough’s branch of the Market Traders’ Federation said: “Many of us thought the new megastore would have drained trade away from the town centre and market, so I’m not too sad to see that it won’t be built.

“But the loss of Tesco in the town centre is bad news. People used to go to Tesco and then visit a couple of other shops and stalls so it actually boosted trade for us all. But now I think everyone will just go to the huge Tesco in Wath so Mexborough will miss out.”

Councillor Sue Phillips added that there has been a supermarket at the High Street site since the early 1970s and she hoped another firm would eventually take on the site.

She said: “The new supermarket plans and the loss of Tesco is a huge blow. I just hope another firm comes in to occupy the site.”

Coun Phillips added that she hopes a £400, 000 redevelopment of Mexborough Outdoor Market, due for completion in the coming months, will go some way to filling the void left by the two scrapped supermarket schemes.

She said: “Hopefully we can get extra customers in to off-set the loss.”

Fellow ward member Andy Pickering said he has requested a meeting with Tesco management to ask for a more in depth explanation as to why the Mexborough store is closing.

He said: “It is a sad reflection on the difficult trading conditions that exist, when even long established companies are being forced to and beyond the brink of closure.”

Simon Dishman, policy and information officer at Doncaster Chamber, said: “Its regrettable when only last week staff at Tesco’s stores heard that they were to lose their jobs, that more jobs should be at risk in the borough.”

Dan Fell, the chamber’s chief executive, added: “It is important that we understand this supermarket closure within a wider context. Doncaster was recently identified by Centre for Cities as a top ten performer for private sector job growth and we are starting to see – overall – much lower unemployment numbers.”

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones said she was “disappointed” by the closures but added the town has recently seen “encouraging jobs growth.”