MP Dan Poulter wants to work to keep Ipswich B&Q store open after it was earmarked for closure

Dan Poulter with employees at B&Q

Dan Poulter with employees at B&Q - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk MP has said he will do what he can to try and prevent a B&Q store closing down with the potential loss of around 100 jobs.

Dan Poulter, who represents Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, was speaking after the home improvement giant’s store on Anglia Retail Park was earmarked for closure in the next financial year.

It is the biggest retailer on the park, which is opposite the Asda superstore in Goddard Road and has already seen a number of stores close.

Dr Poulter said he had visited the shop on a number of occasions and knew the staff provided “a very good service to customers”.

He added: “It is always struck me as being a busy, well used store. I find it quite a strange decision B&Q might not keep it open.

“I will be making enquiries to see what B&Q’s future planning might be and do what I can to try and keep the store open.”

As well has having concerns for the futures of the staff at the store, Dr Poulter said a lot of local businesses had trade accounts there.

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“It always struck me as a thriving store supporting local builders as well as other customers.

“It would be very disappointing to see a decision made to close it.”

The company has vowed to find new jobs for its employees within the Kingfisher Group, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, during the coming months.

It is understood that employees at the smaller B&Q store in Ransomes Europark were told about the closure on Wednesday but have not been made aware that any staff from Anglia Retail Park would be transferring there.

Dr Poulter said he hoped the closure, if it happened, would not affect other businesses in the area or on the retail park.

“I’m more optimistic than that,” he said. “Increasingly we see out of town shopping becoming attractive to many customers and easier very often for families to park and have a meal on site.

“It’s proximity to the A14 makes it a very attractive site for businesses. I’m optimistic there would be interest for that site from other big retailers.”

Previously a B&Q spokesman had said: “We have let colleagues at our Ipswich Anglia store know that their store is one of those planned for closure next financial year.

“Our focus for the coming months is on redeploying as many colleagues as we can within B&Q and the Kingfisher Group.”

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