CONCERNS are being raised over the future of Barrow’s high street after a number of shops have closed it doors for good.

Reef, a clothing shop on Cavendish Street and specialising in menswear is the next in a chain of businesses to cease trading.

The clothing shop posted to social media on Thursday to announce a closing down sale, and stated that this would mark the last few days on trading.

Reef, which has been a family-run business in Barrow for 24 years, had previously tried to sell the business in September 2019.

A spokesperson for Reef said: “We have a sale on at the moment, we are so busy.”

This follows the closure of a number of national chains that have left the town, such as River Island, Thornton’s Cafe and Topshop.

The future of staff at Boots on Portland Walk, is now uncertain after the company announced a 48% decrease in sales for Boots UK, and a 72% reduction for Boots Opticians in the third quarter, when compared with last year.

On Thursday Boots announced it has started a consultation process for ‘significant restructuring’ across the head office, store teams and opticians teams - resulting in a loss of more than 4,000 jobs, accounting for seven percent of the work force, and the closure of 48 Boots Opticians stores.

A spokesperson for Boots said: “As we are only at the beginning of the consultation process, it is too early to share any details yet on any individual stores or locations that will be affected.”

Barrow MP Simon Fell said: “This is really sad news for the town centre, but it’s not unexpected given that high streets across the UK are struggling to recover after COVID. I am optimistic about the future of our high street though. Earlier today I met with local traders who are determined to stay afloat and continue to serve the community.

“And, I’m hopeful that with the money coming into Barrow through the Town Deal and Future High Street Fund that we’ll see improvements in areas like the Market that will get people back into town and shopping.”