The move will see 21 people lose their jobs – and has sparked local anger.
A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food told the Dispatch:
“We can confirm that our store in Town Street, Armley will close at the end of April.
“The decision to close was taken with the greatest reluctance and it was not, in any way, a reflection on the commitment and hard work of the store team.
“We would like to thank our shoppers for their valued custom over the years.”
The decision is a blow to Town Street which has, in recent months, shown signs of revival. A new residents’ group, All Together Armley, has been planning a series of improvements and events to revitalise the area, which has suffered from well-documented problems with anti-social behaviour and street drinking.
The closure decision has been heavily criticised by Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves. She said:
“I condemn this closure in the strongest possible way. Without any consultation or notice, the Co-op have decided to withdraw from one of the most deprived areas in Leeds, leaving it without a large food store and making 21 local people redundant.
“Whilst other high street names are working to improve the area, this move by the Co-op was taken in spite of the efforts the community has made in recent months to re-invigorate Armley Town Street.
“This is an appalling decision that will devastate a community which has stayed loyal to the Co-op for many years.”
Ms Reeves added she was seeking an urgent meeting with senior executives to see what options, if any, can be found to change their minds or mitigate the impact of the closure on local people.
Another Town Street trader, who asked not to be named, said:
“The Co-op is a big draw for shoppers – the worry is that the number of people using Town Street will decline further as a result. There’s always been a supermarket there – it used to be Kwik Save before.”
It’s not yet known which business, if any, will take on the shop unit once it becomes vacant.
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