A HIGH Street chain has confirmed they will be closing a Teesside store next month.

Wilko in Stockton which has a store in the Castlegate Shopping Centre will close in February.

A further 15 stores are closing across the UK.

In Stockton 23 jobs could be potentially be lost.

Read more: Wilko confirms permanent closure of Teesside store in Stockton

A spokesperson for Wilko said staff at the Stockton store had been briefed and the store was closing due to 'favourable lease terms cannot be agreed with the landlord'.

The landlord being Stockton Council.

A spokesperson for Wilko said: “We have been looking at our options, but the reality is that we have been unable to reach an agreement with the landlord that makes this store commercially viable."

Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko CEO, said: “Our history is steeped in serving our customers and communities going back to 1930 but there’s no denying the way people shop with us and where they want to shop with us is changing. As a business we’re evolving and this includes working with landlords for more favourable terms, as well as looking at locations and store formats.

"We’ll continue to pull together to make our business better to secure the future of over 16,000 team members”.

“We’ll be doing everything we can to support our affected team members who will be offered any available positions in nearby stores.  We apologise to customers but will continue to offer them everything they need in nearby stores or via wilko.com.”

Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “The Council is taking steps to address the decline in retail seen at a national level by ensuring Stockton town centre has a sustainable retail offer, this is why the town’s the main retail offering is to be focused in Wellington Square and the north end of the High Street.

“This move will enable the transformation of the Castlegate Shopping Centre and Swallow Hotel into an urban park, riverside plaza and flexible events space. This is part of the transformation of our six towns to ensure they are fit for the future due to changing consumer habits.

“As part of the demolition and redevelopment of the Castlegate site, we’ve been supporting a number of national and independent businesses to relocate to Wellington Square. 

“A number of successful moves have already taken place and we’ve been working proactively with tenants who remain in the Castlegate Centre to secure suitable accommodation for them in Stockton Town Centre.

“Following extensive discussions with Wilko throughout 2020, no agreement on a relocation could be reached due to contrasting expectations around the financial package to enable the move.”

The nearest alternative Wilko stores are in Thornaby and Middlesbrough.

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