Boston

“A huge blow for Boston” – council leaders speak about Oldrids loss

The leader of Boston Borough Council has said the closure of the 216-year-old department store Oldrids is a “heart-breaking moment for the town”.

The management of Oldrids, based on Strait Bargate, confirmed the closure this morning.

Oldrids & Downtown superstores was meant to reopen in Boston on June 15 after being forced to shut due to coronavirus lockdown in March, but it never did.

Councillor Paul Skinner, the leader of Boston Borough Council, said: “This is a huge body blow for Boston and for the loyal staff at Oldrids, especially coming in the midst of a devastating and damaging pandemic. 

“I am truly saddened that two centuries of retail history is about to disappear from our high street at a time when we were beginning to see the first signs of recovery.

“Coming in the wake of the closure of M&S, this is a heart-breaking moment for the town, and our thoughts are with those who will lose their jobs as a result of this decision.”

Boston Borough Council leader Councillor Paul Skinner. Photo: Daniel Jaines

He said the council had been working with all local businesses throughout COVID-19 including advice over funding

“We hope the Oldrids name will continue at the Downtown store at Wyberton, and Boston Borough Council will continue to offer its support, as it has always done in the past, to ensure our retailers survive and thrive.”

Lincolnshire County Council portfolio holder Colin Davie said the closure of the Boston “institution” was “another example of the hostile retail world businesses have to operate in.”

He said: “COVID-19 has clearly speeded up the decision by the owners to close the store.

“It is clear that the transition from the high street to online coupled with the impact of COVID-19 has accelerated this decision.

“We will work with BBC and the DWP to support all those impacted by the companies decision.

Councillor Colin Davie, executive councillor for economy and place at Lincolnshire County Council objected to the plans in his role as Ingoldmells ward councillor. Picture: Calvin Robinson for Lincolnshire Reporter

The company has said the Downtown Home store at Wyberton Chain Bridge in Boston will remain open, as will Grantham’s Downtown Home & Fashion store and Garden Centre, but Boston Oldrids will close for good.

The company’s online business will not be affected by this and remains fully operational.

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