Councillors and businesses have shared their concerns as Whitehaven's Wilko store is set to close next week. 

The store, located on Lowther Street, was a key feature sitting in the heart of the town centre. 

The announcement of the store's closure has saddened a lot of people including members of local authorities and businesses.

Councillor Graham Roberts said: "I think it's very sad really and I think it's going to be a big loss to the town as there were so many bargains for people, it was a very competitively priced shop. 

"For gardening equipment, in particular, it was very useful, I think the whole story is very sad and it will be a big miss for Whitehaven. 

Gerard Richardson whose store is only doors away from Wilko's is concerned about what this could mean for the town's future as the Wilko store was a key driver in bringing people into the town. 

Mr Richardson said: "First of all it's absolutely tragic for the staff, no one wants to lose their jobs and this period between autumn and Christmas is one of the worst ever. 

"I feel for the staff and I hope that they can be helped to find alternate jobs elsewhere. 

"Secondly there's still a published list of B&M takeover stores so I hope the Whitehaven branch is one of those that they'll take on. 

"Beyond that, it's such a huge town centre outlet to be left vacant, it's surprising how many people come to the town for Wilko's. 

"It's the question of whether they will be able to find all they want now in the town centre or will they move away from the town which is a major worry."

Councillor Edwin Dinsdale added: "My heart goes out to all the workers who are going to lose their jobs. 

"What I would like to do is put out an appeal to all employers in Whitehaven and the surrounding West Cumbria to hopefully come forward and offer the workers a job. 

"Whether this be temporary or whatever it might be or some sort of training to enable them to get back into the employment market, they're my major concerns at this moment in time."