A CAMPAIGN by staff to save their jobs has paid off after administrators revealed the Lakeland Leather, in Northallerton, is the first of 18 previously doomed stores to sign a new lease.

The shop is the first to be put on Lakelands “saved list” but it’s not a total guarantee, they still have to secure 17 other stores to ensure its future.

The seven staff at Northallerton who sent out a personal appeal to shoppers to help them save the store are celebrating with a special party on Wednesday, September 10. They said they want to thank the many customers who backed their campaign.

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Lisa Welford, Lakeland Leather’s Northallerton store manager, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that our store has been put on the safe list. This is our livelihood, we all have good friends here and we feel part of a wonderful community. To have lost all of that would have been devastating.

“It’s not over yet more stores have to make the saved list but it’s very positive news and we’re cautiously looking to the future. The staff have worked so hard and we really can’t thank our customers enough. We’re planning to tear up our closing down signs during our special party for local customers who’ve shopped with us after we fell into administration.

“We’re also setting up the Lakeland Leather Founder Members Club which will be exclusive to customers that shop with us in this troubled period to help save our business. These customers will always be special in our hearts so if they choose to sign-up we’ll reward them.

Lakeland Leather, which was founded by the Standring family in the 1960’s, went into administration in June and has been bought by Felldale Retail.

Director Martin Foster said: “I’m pleased with the progress we’re making and the lease assignment of our store in Northallerton marks our first success with four other stores expected to complete in the next few weeks. The future of Lakeland Leather is starting to look brighter.”