A COUNTY Durham branch of Argos will close its doors for good next month in what has been described as a "disappointing" loss for the town.

The shop which incorporates an EE branch on Greenwell Road in Newton Aycliffe town centre will permanently close on Saturday, May 8.

Councillors have since reacted to the planned closure with one saying it is a "worrying" time for the town centre.

Earlier this month, signs could be seen going up saying it would cease trading, telling customers they would soon need to tavel to Bishop Auckland to continue shopping.

But officially confirming the closure, a spokesperson for Argos last night said staff would be offered alternative roles nearby.

It said: “Our Newton Aycliffe Argos store will be closing on 8th May and colleagues are being offered opportunities to redeploy to alternative roles within Sainsbury’s.

"Customers can continue to shop with us at our nearby stores, including the Argos store within Sainsburys at Bishop Auckland.”

The Northern Echo: Argos in Newton Aycliffe town centre Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTArgos in Newton Aycliffe town centre Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

But the announcement of Argos' closure was met with great sadness as it followed on from the news that the town would also lose its Barclays bank in June.

Read more: Barclays respond after plea to rethink closure of Newton Aycliffe branch 

Great Aycliffe Town Councillor Jim Atkinson, who's Aycliffe Central ward covers the town centre, said it was trying its "level best" to build the town centre back up.

He said: "I am bitterly disappointed to see Argos closing down. You don’t know who it will devastate.

"I am on Enterprise Committee and we hear a lot about retail, so anything closing down is disappointing.

"We are trying our level best to build the town centre back up again – it will be a fabulous shop for a lot of people but the closure of a shop is always bad news."

Meanwhile Cllr John Clare of the Byerley Park, Horndale and Cobblers Hall ward, added: "This is a worrying time for Aycliffe Town Centre.

"Patterns of shopping were changing anyway and the old town centre struggling. Lockdown has further altered the parameters.

"We are all still buying retail goods, but in different ways, and the security of having a nearby shopping centre seems to be slipping away."

Last year, Sainsbury's which owns Argos confirmed it was planning to close 420 standalone stores across the UK after plans to merge operations with stores-in-stores.

At the time, Sainsbury's said it planned to instead open 350 Argos stores within Sainsbury's supermarkets by March 2024.