Supermarket chain Iceland is closing its store in Berwick town centre

Berwick town centre has suffered a further blow.
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Supermarket chain Iceland has announced that its store on Marygate will close next month despite saying four years ago that a development it was planning to be part of on the outskirts of the town would not affect the future of the town centre store.

The Food Warehouse, part of the Iceland group, eventually opened at the Loaning Meadows Retail Park last October.

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The closure announcement makes it an even more difficult start to the year for the town centre. Home Bargains closed last month so it could open a new store at Loaning Meadows.

The Iceland store in Berwick town centre.The Iceland store in Berwick town centre.
The Iceland store in Berwick town centre.

In addition, M&Co announced that all of its stores – including its branch in Berwick – will pull their shutters down for good at Easter.

Planning permission for the retail park was granted to Berwick Corporation (Freemen) Trustees and TCD Estates in November 2019.

In its letter of support for the application earlier that year, Iceland said: “Our store in Berwick town centre is held on a lease which runs for some years and without any break options.

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“The proposed Food Warehouse operation at Loaning Meadows would represent a different trading format to that of our town centre store and, as such, the Food Warehouse at the proposed retail park is designed to complement and not compete with our town centre store.”

A closure notice at Iceland, Berwick.A closure notice at Iceland, Berwick.
A closure notice at Iceland, Berwick.

But a spokesperson for Iceland said this week: “The Berwick-upon-Tweed town centre store is scheduled to close on April 22, ahead of its lease expiring this summer.

“We expect that many of our customers will choose to shop at the recently opened branch of The Food Warehouse on the Loaning Meadows Retail Park.

“Across Iceland and The Food Warehouse, we have a portfolio of over UK 1,000 stores and continually review the retail experience offered to our customers as local shopping patterns change and shop leases expire.”

When questioned by the Gazette as to why it had changed its mind about closing the town centre branch, Iceland declined to comment further.