Shock and devastation as Rochdale shopping centre closes permanently

Traders at the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, have been left devastated after the news broke that the centre will not reopen after lockdown.

The struggling centre had already been suffering after losing big brands Argos, New Look and Wilko's, Rymans, Brighthouse and Select in recent years, but the news has come as a shock to small businesses.

MCR Property Group, who manage the centre indicated that the pandemic has been the final nail in the coffin.

They said: "The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has expedited the migration from traditional shopping habits and the impacts on the retail sector have been significant.

"Since re-opening after lockdown in June 2020, footfall has been tracking at an average of 45% down year-on-year and this lockdown will impact these figures further.

"The financial viability of the centre is not sustainable."

Family run business Fizz Bombs have published a heartbreaking video on social media following the announcement.

The business is run by Lauren, Mark, with their four children.

In the video, Mark said: "The last 12 hours have shocked us beyond belief to be honest.

"It's inhumane and it's disgusting.

"There's nothing we can do.

"We will get through this - we are not going anywhere.

"What we've got works and we know it does.

"We have been asked to leave by December 1."

Mark is seen breaking down on the video.

He added: "To have the rug pulled out from under us...

"People are telling us it will be alright makes a difference.

"This year has been a struggle - not just with the business.

"We will get another shop but its going to take time."

Source: InYourArea