Talks held over future of Debenham's unit in Trinity Walk after new owners Boohoo announce shop closures

The leader of Wakefield Council has hinted discussions have already taken place over what will happen to the city's empty Debenham's store.

Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 3:45 pm
12,000 Debenham's employees across the UK are facing redundancy.

Denise Jeffery said that talks had to remain confidential because of "commercial sensitivity", but insisted that long-term options for the site are being explored.

Debenham's was bought by online merchants Boohoo over the weekend, but it's been confirmed that the shops themselves will permanently close.

The move will see dozens of people who were employed at the giant Trinity Walk unit in Wakefield potentially lose their jobs, with the company confirming 12,000 people will be made redundant across the country.

Coun Jeffery said options were being explored for the site.

The store was already shut on a temporary basis because of lockdown.

Speaking on a live question and answer session on Facebook run by the council on Monday, Coun Jeffery was asked if Wakefield's market traders might be relocated into the store.

In response, Coun Jeffery said: "The building doesn't belong to us - it belongs to Trinity Walk.

"The things we might be doing are commercially sensitive at the moment but it is being looked at.

"We are talking to Trinity Walk, but we can't really say anything at the moment because it's not our premises.

"But rest assured we are doing something about it. I can't give too much detail at the moment."

Wakefield's old BHS building, located on Kirkgate, remains empty five years after that business suffered a nationwide collapse.

That too, was once briefly touted as a future site for local market traders, by the council's opposition Conservative group

However, the council revealed concrete plans last August to buy the site and demolish it to make way for a library and museum.

Local Democracy Reporting Service