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Marks & Spencer 'open to idea of returning to Hounslow'

MPs say bosses from the firm, which is closing its Hounslow store after 80 years, could be back if regeneration plans go ahead

Marks & Spencer Outlet in High Street, Hounslow(Image: Stacey Harris, via Creative Commons)

Bosses at Marks & Spencer are open to the idea of returning to Hounslow town centre, according to local MPs.

Ruth Cadbury and Seema Malhotra, MPs for Brentford & Isleworth and Feltham & Heston respectively, met with senior representatives from M&S last week to discuss the company's plans to close its Outlet branch in Hounslow High Street.

The Labour MPs said the firm was still committed to closing the store once consultations with staff had finished this autumn.

But they claimed representatives had told them the chain would consider returning to Hounslow as part of the proposed town centre regeneration project planned on the High Street Quarter site in the car park opposite Asda.

In a joint statement, Ms Cadbury and Ms Malhotra said: "We have had a meeting with senior representatives of the M&S to discuss our concerns but, regrettably, they said the closure will go ahead once the consultation process they have with the store's employees has finished in the autumn.

"However M&S have agreed to a meeting we will arrange with Hounslow Council to discuss possible future M&S presence in Hounslow, as and when the ongoing regeneration plans take effect."

M&S announced plans to close the branch in Hounslow, along with other Outlet stores, in June.

The retailer said at the time that the discount stores were no longer needed since it was managing its stock better.

Consultation with the store's 60 employees is ongoing and M&S has yet to announce a proposed closure date.

M&S has had a store in Hounslow for 80 years and news of its withdrawal was greeted with dismay by business leaders and senior politicians in the borough alike.

An application to build more than 500 homes plus shops, restaurants and a cinema opposite Asda were submitted to Hounslow Council earlier this year. They have yet to go before the council's planning committee.

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