MORRISONS has been urged not to close its Regent Circus store.

Councillor Stan Pajak yesterday delivered a petition to the supermarket’s manager signed by 1,200 people.

The petition called on Morrisons bosses to reconsider proposals to shut the Swindon store. It was claimed the shop's closure would have a devastating impact on the community.

Coun Pajak told the Adver: “There will be lots of people who will be so unhappy if Morrisons goes. It’s the best store in Swindon.

“It’s been part of the regeneration of Regent Circus. Five-years-ago this was seen as the big thing. This was a wonderful thing for Swindon.

“We don’t want to see it go. That would be such a bad thing for the people of the town.”

Asked what his message was for Morrisons bosses, Coun Pajak said: “It’s to think again. This is an important store to the community. We want this to stay in Swindon.”

Morrisons announced in August that it would be consulting staff on closing the store, leaving around 110 people unemployed. The supermarket opened in 2014 as part of the revamped Regent Circus

The Adver understands that staff have been spoken to by bosses this week about the plans. The store is expected to close in early November if a decision is made to shut it.

A Morrisons spokeswoman said: "We are still in a consultation period about the future of our Swindon Regents Circus store. We will be taking all these comments on board as we work through the consultation process".

Coun Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for the town centre, said: "This is a business matter between Morrisons as a private company and their landlord, the owner of Regent Circus.

“There are no options available for the council to intervene, but the landlord is pro-actively talking to other companies. Until notice is served by Morrisons there is a limit on what can be done by anyone.

“However, I have written to the chief executive of Morrisons to find out why this decision was taken so suddenly without working with the local community.

“I have also contacted the chief executives of Morrisons' competitors, including Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl to make them aware that a prime town centre location may be soon be available for a new store."

In August, shop workers’ union USDAW said Morrisons had told them the Swindon store was unprofitable and losses would continue.

Union officer Joanne McGuinness said: “This is devastating news for the staff affected. The ongoing crisis in retail is impacting all companies as we see an increasing number of job losses and store closures across the industry."