The lack of post-closure plans for the Debenhams store in Stockton have been branded “disappointing” by Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham.
In a response to Alex’s letter to Terry Duddy, Executive Chairman of Debenhams, Mr Duddy stated that Debenhams does not own the site but lease it with another 15 years on the contract, and offered no assurances that the building would properly maintained while vacant.
The site is situated close Stockton’s Globe Theatre which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound renovation.
While I’m pleased to see that Debenhams has taken steps to support staff through either redeployment or in looking for other opportunities, I am hugely disappointed that there appears to be no post-closure plans for the site itself.
At the very least we need assurances that the site will be properly maintained so as not to become a blight that will detract from the good work Stockton Council has done on the High Street. Ideally I would like to see plans to have the site occupied. We need decisive action to avoid another M&S fiasco which could see the site sit empty for years.