59 jobs go as Co-op departments close

22/08/06 Ilkeston co-op exterior
22/08/06 Ilkeston co-op exterior

Concessions inside the doomed Co-op department store, including Top Shop and Clarks, are set to close, it has been revealed this week.

A total of 59 staff will lose their jobs and the iconic South Street building will contain just the supermarket and Post Office.

Ian Viles Erewash Partnership Chief Executive

Ian Viles Erewash Partnership Chief Executive

The future of Erewash Credit Union and the £36,000 Changing Places disabled toilet remains in doubt.

A spokesman for Midlands Co-op, which closed nine other department stores, said: “Further to the announcement in January of the proposed closure of our Fashion and Home business, we can confirm that the food hall and Post Office will be remaining open in the Ilkeston Fashion and Home store.

“The proposed date of closure for all other departments in the Ilkeston Fashion & Home store is Friday July 26.

“Unfortunately, the closure of the concessions could affect more than 50 employees.”

But Ilkeston-based regeneration agency Erewash Partnership is offering a ray of hope.

Out of the last five £500 Golden Hello grants it has handed out, two have been to former Co-op workers.

Former catering assistant at Cloughies on the top floor of the Co-op, Sharon Morley, has opened Heart’s Cafe in South Street, where Whirls previously stood.

“When I was made redundant I thought it’s now or never to follow my dream. And now I’ve done it!”

And traditional cobbler Graham Andrews has opened Graham’s Shoe Repairs and Key Cutting in a former flower shop, also in South Street.

For the last 12 years he has worked on the Co-op’s ground floor.

Partnership chairman Ian Viles hopes to attract concessions moving out of the Co-op into empty units on the high street.