Peterborough Civic Society calls on John Lewis chief to reverse store closure

Peterborough Civic Society has written to the chairman of John Lewis, Dame Sharon White, calling for a rethink on the decision to close the department store in Queensgate.

By Mark Edwards
Saturday, 10th April 2021, 1:15 pm
John Lewis
John Lewis

The letter, sent on behalf of Civic Society chairman David Turnock questions the decision to close the store in the light of Peterborough’s continued expansion and university plans.

It states that the economic prospects of the store in Queensgate would be strong with a planned multi-screen cinema opening and other retailers interested in moving into Queensgate.

The letter states:

“I am writing on behalf of The Peterborough Civic Society to express our deep concern and alarm at the proposed closure of the John Lewis Store in Queensgate, Peterborough.

The Society hopes very much that you and your fellow Partners would be prepared to change your minds in this matter.

Peterborough, as I am sure you know, is a fast-expanding city with a University to open next year and a number of Government Departments considering moving to the City in the near future and with a population well in excess of 200,000 and growing at a rapid rate.

John Lewis has been a destination store for many people in the Peterborough area for the last 40 years and its absence would have a detrimental effect to our City and to the surrounding area.

We appreciate times have been difficult with regard to the pandemic but we would point out your store in Peterborough was closed for a considerable period of time due to its refurbishment and the pandemic so footfall would have been substantially reduced.

As you know £19 million pounds has been spent on the refurbishment of the store and with a new cinema opening in the Queensgate complex next year considerable added footfall will be brought to Queensgate.

We are given to understand that TK Maxx will be moving from another part of the City into Queensgate which will again increase footfall.

We hope therefore that yourself and the Partnership would reconsider the decision to close the Peterborough store as we are certain that if re-opened the store would be a resounding economic success.

We look forward to hearing from you with your considered reply.”