THE closure of a Boots branch in Barrow town centre has been described as 'deeply disappointing'. 

The pharmacy chain has closed its branch in Portland Walk despite hopes it would keep trading.

Barrow MP Simon Fell said the chain had been reconsidering an earlier decision to shutter the store after he informed bosses of upcoming investment into Portland Walk. 

He hoped the chain could be persuaded to remain open with BAE's Portland Walk campus and investment into Barrow Market expected to boost footfall.

But the branches in Portland Walk and Risedale Road have now closed. 

Reacting, Mr Fell said: "This closure is deeply disappointing.

"The public were clear that they wanted it to stay, and the scale of investment in Portland Walk at the moment by BAE and connected to the Levelling Up fund that is redeveloping the Market, Forum and connection to Dalton Road will see increased footfall in town, pushing business to shops in the town centre.

"Despite meeting with Boots on a number of occasions and arguing the case, they refused to make a decision based on future projections.

"To my mind that is short-sighted and a decision that they will come to regret - but I very much hope that we'll see a new business in that space soon."

Boots previously said any closures had been promised not to result in any redundancies as part of Boots' 'consolidation process'.

A spokesperson for the company said: "The scheme will ensure that the shops that do close are no more than two kilometres away from another store, meaning that the communities affected will still be served."

The Boots pharmacy at Alfred Barrow Health Centre is now the only remaining branch in Barrow. Branches in Ulverston and Millom remain open.

The company said last year it was aiming to close 300 branches across the country.

The US owners of the brand, Walgreens Boots Alliance, at the time shared that the goal was to optimise locations and opening hours.

James Kehoem, global chief financial officer at Walgreens, said: “We will continue to optimise our locations and opening hours and expect to close an additional 300 locations in the UK and 150 locations in the US."