The announcement that another town centre store is set to close has sparked fears over the future of the town.
The B and M Bargains store on Union Street, Accrington, will close its doors, as the firm focuses on its premises on Hyndburn Road, in the former Homebase building.
Concerns have been voiced over the future of the town centre following the closure of Marks and Spencer in Broadway last month. Earlier this month Yorkshire Bank also confirmed it will shut its branch on Blackburn Road.
Former borough council leader Coun Peter Britcliffe, said it was “part of a continual decline of the town centre”.
He added: “I’m very concerned about it. The writing was always on the wall when B and M went to Homebase, and hopefully the Union Street premises will be taken by another business, but something needs to be done about the town as a whole.
“The first impression, coming into the town, is that it has seen better days - it needs to be made attractive to stop the decline.”
Coun Britcliffe thinks a working group should be established to make a plan for the town, and that bringing more events into the centre would attract visitors.
He added: “Accrington needs to be accessible and attractive, we need to see a lot more going on a real plan in place.”
B and M confirmed the closure, although it is not known yet when it will be shutting down.
A spokesperson said: “Our Accrington store will be closing in the coming weeks. All colleagues have been offered roles at other local stores.”
Coun Miles Parkinson, Hyndburn council leader, said: “All town centres are going through radical change due to changing shopping habits. We need to look at independent stores, as major retailers are looking for hubs in major town centres. The council has Heritage Lottery funding and around £10 million will be invested in the town centre over the next two years, including finishing the bus station, shop fronts and highway improvements.”
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said: “Town centre shopping habits have changed over the decades and many retailers just can’t make money anymore from the high street. The internet, out-of-town shopping centres and stores and supermarkets have all changed shopping habits.”