Lewes Thomas Cook saved from the axe

THE LEWES branch of travel agent Thomas Cook has been spared in the massive cull announced by the troubled company this week.

The Eastgate Street premises will remain open as up to 200 stores were earmarked for the axe, with 1,000 job cuts.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said on Wednesday: “I can confirm that the Lewes branch will not be affected by today’s announcement.”

The company, which warned last month it needed to renegotiate its debt with lenders, confirmed the closures as it posted a pre-tax loss of £398m for the year to September 30.

Thomas Cook will initially close 125 stores, putting at risk 660 jobs, but is planning to close 200 stores in total over the next two years as leases expire.

The closures are another setback for Britain’s high street, where more than one in 10 shops are already empty. The effect of the economic crisis is beginning to bite in Lewes.

Squiglets, the new and nearly new children’s clothes and equipment outlet, has closed.

A ‘Notice of Forfeiture’ poster has been placed in the windows of the Cliffe Arcade business.

Meanwhile, the door of Happy Feet Boutique, School Hill, has remained closed for a fortnight. A notice says the children’s footwear and accessories shop “is currently relocating”, and customers are advised to visit the Lindfield branch.

It follows news that Sera De’s Bridal Boutique has gone into voluntary liquidation.

It had been suffering “severe cash flow problems which were heightened by difficult trading conditions over the last 12 months”.