A SHOP on a prominent site on Prudhoe’s Front Street is set to close and be taken over by a discount food store.

A spokeswoman for the Original Factory Shop, also known as TOFS, said the company had been served notice by the landlord of its premises, opposite the Glade.

London & Cambridge Properties (LCP) which manages the site, which is owned by Sheet Anchor Evolve London, confirmed this week that arrangements have now been made for the premises to be occupied by Heron Foods.

The Original Factory Shop, a discount department store chain which has stores throughout the country, currently employs nine staff in Prudhoe who will be affected by the store’s closure.

The company said a consultation with staff was ongoing.

While the company was unable to give a definite closing date, it said, at present, it was expecting to remain open until Christmas Eve.

A spokeswoman for the Original Factory Shop said: “It’s a great disappointment to have been served notice on this store.

“We tried really hard to come to a suitable agreement with the landlord; especially as this is a store that has been performing well and where we are proud to play an integral part in the community.”

London & Cambridge Properties said the Original Factory Shop had notified the landlord that they had entered a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).

This is an agreement which is reached, if a company is insolvent, to pay creditors over a fixed period of time.

“As part of the CVA the landlord was required to serve a break clause, which they did in accordance to the time frame stipulated by TOFS,” a spokeswoman for London & Cambridge Properties added.

“Subsequently, the landlord has made arrangements for the unit to be occupied by Heron Foods.”

As news spread that the shop was to close, county councillor for Prudhoe South, Gordon Stewart, said: “I have been contacted by residents who are upset at the proposed closing.

“It is clear that this is nothing to do with current trading conditions in the town, but linked into the chain’s national situation.”

London & Cambridge Properties said Heron Foods was expected to open in the premises in Spring 2019.

The chain sells frozen food as well as brand named stock at discount prices.