Losing John Lewis in Sheffield deals another blow to retail workers who are among those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. My heart goes out to the workers and their families whose livelihoods are at risk.
The store has been a cornerstone of the city’s retail offer for more than a century. I am working with John Lewis and Sheffield City Council to determine what this means for those whose jobs are now on the line and what can be done to support them.
In challenging times, the people of Sheffield rally around each other and I know we will bounce back despite the challenges COVID throws at us.
It’s clear high streets need to adapt, and that’s why we’re taking unprecedented action to create jobs, help people retrain and revitalise our town and city centres. We want them to thrive in the long term, by making them more vibrant, greener and attractive – and to be places where people can live and visit, as well a shop.
This week, local leaders and I approved a £860m stimulus in South Yorkshire’s economy to start our recovery and renewal from COVID. This is a game changing investment in our region’s economy, which will very significantly benefit Sheffield. This includes £300m to transform our places and high streets.
I’m determined to ensure Sheffield and South Yorkshire comes through this.