The St James’s Ward Labour Action Team is battling hard against the recently-announced closure of M&S in Long Acre and now potentially the Tesco store in King Street.
Colin Appleby, one of the St James’s Ward Labour Action Team, is writing to The Mercers Company, M&S’s landlord to ask them to reconsider their £1.25m a year rent increase. Colin is also writing to the landlord of the Tesco site and will be asking them to reconsider their rent increases, too.
And Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour’s Business spokesperson, will also be lobbying the Government for a reduction in the absurd increase in business rates that both stores are facing..
Colin Appleby said:
“The only two reasonably priced supermarkets in Covent Garden are being driven out by impending massive rises in both business rates and rents.
M&S has announced the closure of their Long Acre store in 2018 and Tesco are believed to be planning on closing their Covent Garden store
M&S faces an increase in rent of £1.25m per year and a £0.5m increase in rates.
The loss of the only two supermarkets in Covent Garden will be a devastating blow to the people that live, work and visit here.
We ask the landlords to reconsider the rent rises and we ask the government to reverse the crippling rises in business rates.
We encourage communities to shop locally, but with the closure of Tesco and M&S there will be no supermarket left to serve Covent Garden.
We need these supermarkets in the area. To see them both vanish only to be replaced by high priced fashion retailers or chain coffee shops would be a disservice to residents and tourists. “