Pendle Rise Shopping Centre: Farmfoods to quit

Farm Foods in Pendle Rise Shopping Centre which is due to close.
Farm Foods in Pendle Rise Shopping Centre which is due to close.

PENDLE Rise Shopping Centre, in Nelson, is caught in the middle of celebrations and concerns — as a new shop is welcomed in and another is set to move out.

Jimmy The Jewellers, which initially opened in the 1950s and later moved to the Market Hall, is now settled in a new larger unit in the main shopping centre. But for the local Farmfoods, it appears to be a different story, with the store speculated to close around the Christmas period.

Jimmy and David Rostron in their newly re-located store in the Pendle Rise shopping Centre.

Jimmy and David Rostron in their newly re-located store in the Pendle Rise shopping Centre.

Launched by Jim Rostron, Jimmy The Jewellers, which is now managed by his son David Rostron, has gone from strength to strength. Not only does the store sell an eclectic mix of fashion jewellery, but over the years it has expanded to include other accessories, such as handbags and purses.

While Jim is now officially retired, having had many business interests, he will continue to be involved in the business as a consultant.

Jim, who was the first stall-holder to walk through the doors of the Market Hall, said: “David has done very well since he took over.”

And David, who has been negotiating the move since the start of the year, added: “I really liked the unit when I saw it.

“I took up the courage to have a go.”

While Jim and David, who said he often gets called Jimmy, are delighted at their move, it is believed that staff at Farmfoods are left unsure of their future with the national frozen food chain. While it is thought some will be moving to other stores, it may be that others are made redundant.

According to Coun. Eileen Ansar, who found out that Farmfoods could be closing from staff, the store will be shutting its doors on December 24th.

Coun. Eileen Ansar said: “The staff were obviously a bit upset and concerned.

“I would say that 80% of Pendle Rise Shopping Centre’s footfall goes into Farmfoods.

“It’s a nail in their own coffin.

“They have been trying to sell shops in there, by offering incentives. What impression does it give when a major national company is leaving?

“They should be doing everything possible to keep Farmfoods. It will finish the centre.

“I think a lobby should be held in Pendle Rise — ‘We don’t want Farmfoods to go’.”

The Nelson Leader made numerous attempts to talk to a spokesman from Pendle Rise Shopping Centre about the closure of Farmfoods.