The closure of a Boots pharmacy would be a "hammer blow" for the area, councillors have said.

The national chain plans to close the Wood Street branch in February after deeming that its town centre store, in Brunel Plaza, is suitable for residents in Old Town.

But in a joint statement, Old Town councillor Jane Milner-Barry and Eastcott councillor Marina Strinkovsky have said they are concerned.

They and others in the Labour party have set up a petition calling on Boots to reverse the decision, which can be found at

In a joint statement, Cllrs Milner-Barry and Strinkovsky said:  “The closure of Boots Pharmacy on Wood Street would be a real hammer blow for Old Town.

"When Rowlands Pharmacy closed in the Newport Street Co-op earlier this year, we were worried about the pressure that would be put on other local pharmacies, and so the prospect of Boots now closing makes an already bad situation even worse.

“We’re aware that in other parts of the country, Boots have changed their plans where there has been strong community opposition.

"We’ve therefore worked with our parliamentary candidate, Heidi Alexander, to get a petition set up so that Old Town and Eastcott residents can register their concerns. We’d encourage everyone to sign to make their views known.” 

Heidi Alexander, who will stand to be the Labour MP for South Swindon at the next election, said: “It’s really important we make Boots aware of local views. I have been very worried about the adequacy of local pharmacy services for some time and registered my concerns with local NHS managers earlier this summer.

“I will be getting in touch with them again given this recent news, as we definitely need to keep a pharmacy in the heart of Old Town.”

Previously, South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said: “I am very concerned to hear that Boots in Wood Street has informed customers that they will be closing in February 2024.

“I am aware that this local pharmacy is used by many local residents in Old Town, particularly those who are elderly and may struggle with mobility.

“My Wood Street office is very close to Boots, so I use the chemist myself.

“I have requested an urgent phone call with Boots CEO Sebastian James. I have also contacted NHS England, as well as NHS South, Central and West, to raise urgent concerns on behalf of all of the residents who use Boots in Old Town, as well as the staff who work there.”