Huge positive: House of Fraser to stay open, new owners confirm
Darlington Borough Council leader Stephen Harker has urged shoppers to ‘think local’, after it was confirmed the new owners of House of Fraser have decided to keep the Darlington store open.
Following discussions between council officers and representatives from the owners of House of Fraser, we are now in a position to update residents and shoppers on the future of the Darlington store.
Councillor Stephen Harker, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said “Council officers have been in discussions with representatives of Sports Direct, the new owners of House of Fraser, regarding the future of the Darlington store.
“I am pleased to report that the Council has been given confirmation from Sports Direct that the store will remain open for an initial period of 12-18 months. The Council, together with the owner of the building, have worked together to make this happen, with the Council offering a rate relief package.
“This is a huge positive for Darlington town centre, however we know that High Street retail is very challenging and we, the Darlington public, need to support all our retailers in order to maintain a vibrant retail offer in the town centre. So I ask you all to 'think local' when making your purchases.
“Finally, I would like to thank Sports Direct and its owner Mike Ashley for having the belief in Darlington to support the store, but I know it is not secured for ever yet.
“Sports Direct will be working hard to ensure the Darlington store has a viable future, so I expect there will be changes to come, and the Council will continue to work with Sports Direct to secure a long term future for both the business and building.”
Councillor Chris McEwan, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “We welcome the announcement from Sports Direct.
“After all the uncertainty, it’s great news that Binns, a cornerstone of the high street in Darlington for longer than anyone cares to remember, will be staying open.
“We wait with interest to hear what the new owners have in mind for the future of the Binns store.
“As we all know, high streets are changing and nothing can be taken for granted, but today’s announcement gives us even more reason to be optimistic that the future is bright for Darlington town centre.”