The manager of Old Town's Boots pharmacy has thanked customers for their loyal support over the years.

The Wood Street health hub has helped residents for decades but fell victim to the chain's broader plans to reduce its UK portfolio from 2,200 to 1,900 sites by closing hundreds of branches.

It will close for good at 5pm on Saturday after hopes for a last-minute change of heart from the company's senior leaders were dashed.

The Old Town store's manager, who has worked there for 10 years but did not wish to give her name, told the Adver: "We are all gutted that we are going but really appreciated the attempts to keep us open.

"We have a very loyal customer base and would like to thank everyone for their support, particularly in the last year, and for their patience."

Swindon Advertiser: Closure notices in the windows of Boots' Wood Street pharmacyClosure notices in the windows of Boots' Wood Street pharmacy (Image: Newsquest)

The Adver understands that the closure came about because Boots in the Brunel Shopping Centre's plaza, which will now be the only one in the central Swindon area left open, was deemed suitable for Old Town residents to use.

Though the two branches seem close together on a map, the steep hill between them could make return journeys difficult for elderly and disabled customers or patients from Old Town.

This is why the announcement about the longstanding pharmacy's impending closure last October sparked a public outcry that led to concerned citizens and political figures trying to save the site.

More than 750 people signed a petition by Heidi Alexander, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for South Swindon, which she sent to Boots manager Sebastian James just before Christmas.

South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland spoke with Mr James and raised concerns with NHS England, as well as NHS South, Central and West.

Mr Buckland said at the time: “I have been working hard to try to get another provider to the same site and now I am actively pursuing other options for a pharmacy in Old Town."

This latest loss comes after the Rowlands Pharmacy inside the Co-op on High Street closed last July due to an increase in the cost of rent and utilities.

Other options for former Boots customers include the Victoria Road Pharmacy,at the bottom of the hill, and the Jhoots Pharmacy on Okus Road, which is just under a mile away.

The Boots Wood Street staff will now be employed at other stores.