Up to 72 jobs have been saved at the B&Q store in Sprucefield after it was announced this week that the store is to remain open.
Last year owners, Kingfisher, announced they would be closing the Sprucefield store along with others at Derry, Belfast’s Boucher Road, Ballymena and Craigavon.
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson, who had met Kingfisher last year in an attempt to secure the jobs at Sprucefield, said this week he was delighted when news of the u-turn broke on Wednesday morning.
“I heard the news first thing this morning (Wednesday) and it was a most welcome decision,” he said. “I am absolutely delighted Kingfisher has decided to keep this store open.
“Sprucefield is an excellent location and it would be an ideal location for a John Lewis store coming forward.”
The local MP said that when he met senior management at Kingfisher he told them he felt strongly that the decision to close Sprucefield, was a very premature one.
Mr Donaldson said he felt there was still a bright future at the B&Q store in Sprucelfield.
He argued the owners should wait until other stores closed and wait and see what impact that would have on the Lisburn store.
“We were in contact with the Union who were all very supportive that the store should be retained,” he said. “I would like to praise the staff and commend them for the hard work they have done at the store.”
A spokesperson for B&Q said: “In 2015, we announced that B&Q is reshaping our store network to ensure that our estate reflects changing consumer needs and behaviours, and announced a number of store closures. We have continued to review our plans and can confirm that we have today let our 72 employees at B&Q Sprucefield know their store will no longer be closing.
“We have a fantastic team at our Sprucefield store and their passion to serve our customers well will help us to now grow our business.”