A high street giant aims to boost a market town as a major brewery closes its depot there shedding 25 jobs.
Marks and Spencer (M&S) aims to open a food store in the empty former Co-op store, in the Burghley Centre, in Bourne.
The news comes as Carlsberg announces it is to close its depot in Spalding Road, Bourne on Saturday, July 1, with the loss of 25 jobs.
Business leaders and the town’s mayor have welcomed the move by M&S while criticising Carlsberg’s decision.
Coun Paul Fellows, the new mayor of Bourne, said: “I support the idea of M&S absolutely. Hopefully this will go through as it’s perfect for the town.”
Paul Ross, chairman of Bourne in Business, added: “It’s absolutely brilliant that M&S is coming to Bourne as we need big names on the High Street.
“This will bring people back to shop in the town.”
It is thought that M&S will take up three quarters of the Co-op store with another tenant to fill the rest.
A M&S spokesman said: “We’re hoping to bring the very best of M&S food to customers in Bourne with a new foodhall, subject to planning permission. We look forward to updating the community soon.”
The news comes as Carlsberg’s blow lands on its distribution depot, which opened about 40 years ago.
Carlsberg is to hand over its distribution to DHL Trade team. The move will affect 900 Carlsberg distribution staff nationally but around 500 are set to move across to DHL Trade team between July 2017 and March 2018.
Coun Fellows said: “Carlsberg’s move is a loss to the town and a blow to the workers.
“If we can find another tenant that would be great. We are doing all we can to help.”
Mr Ross said: “I would be sorry to see it go. It’s a long established business and 25 people are losing their jobs.”
The Unite union, which covers the Carlsberg workers, says it feels it has worked hard and achieved a good deal for the workforce.
Julian Momen, chief executive officer of Carlsberg UK, said: “We recognise the impact of this plan and our priority now is on providing all affected employees in the Bourne depot with the support they require during the period ahead.
“This includes working with DHL Trade team to see what new job opportunities may exist in its new, wider network.
“Ultimately, we believe these changes are necessary to create a long-term sustainable logistics operation and are an important enabler to the future success of our business, which will focus on building brands brewing premium quality beers.
“We thank all of the team at Bourne for their dedication and professionalism and wish them the best in the future.”