Flagship store’s return shows city is ‘open for business’ says councillor

Coun Drew Gale

Coun Drew Gale

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The expected return of department store TJ Hughes is evidence ‘Preston is open for business’, according to a town centre councillor.

Five years after the discount brand closed its flagship store in the city, job adverts have been published looking for new staff to work in its ‘new store opening in Preston’.

Coun Drew Gale described the prospect as ‘fantastic news’ which was ‘very welcome’.

He said: “This will bring commerce and jobs back to the city centre.

“This is further evidence that Preston is open for business. It’s on the up.

“The massive investment in the city centre shows we want to make Preston a market destination, and we are well on our way to doing that.

“In 10 years, you will not recognise the city, it will be a real boom town.”

TJ Hughes closed its shop in the Fishergate Shipping Centre in summer 2011 after the Liverpool-based business went into administration.

The company currently has 11 stores in the UK and is looking to open new outlets this year. Five years ago the company had 57 shops.

A statement in the job advert says: “TJ Hughes is a national retailer with big expansion plans for the future and we are looking for talented and enthusiastic people who are passionate about retail and who want to be part of something exciting to join us in our new store opening in Preston.”

The positions are believed to be for part-time sales assistants.

The former TJ Hughes store in Preston was due to become a multi-screen Vue Cinema which would be the flagship of a huge revamp.

The deal collapsed this year when the £40m centre plan was due to be turned down by the council.

Bosses at the cinema chain said they would remain at the Capitol Centre in Walton-le-Dale.

A spokesman for TJ Hughes was not available for comment.