Retail reprieve saves 150 jobs

150 jobs have been saved after a deal was agreed to keep the House of Fraser store in Telford open.

The change of heart came two months after it was announced the town centre store was to close, and just two weeks after Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley bought the retailer from administrators.

It is a key announcement for the town’s retail plans, with £55m currently being spent developing Telford Shopping Centre. A central part of that is the 80,000 sq ft fashion quarter, which will see other retailers, including Next and H&M, take bigger stores.

Michael Thomas, senior asset and development manager for developer Sovereign Centros, said: “The new owners vision for House of Fraser provides a perfect platform for the launch of Telford centre’s fashion quarter in spring 2019 and we will be working closely with House of Fraser over the next 12 months to ensure that vision is delivered.”

House of Fraser’s Telford store is the second to be saved, following a deal for the flagship store on London’s Oxford Street.

Its stores in Birmingham, Leamington Spa, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton and Worcester remain under threat although Ashley has said he is looking to do deals with landlords on a store-by-store basis.