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Wilko: Major job event announced as final store closure dates revealed

A second job fair for affected Wilko staff has been organised after administrators confirmed when the final local stores will close.

Shutters will close for the final time next week at four out of the total 15 Nottinghamshire stores owned by the retailer, with closure dates for the remaining 11 already confirmed.

The stores in Bulwell and Nottingham city centre will shut on Thursday, October 5, with Arnold and Hucknall’s stores to close on Sunday, October 8.

The announcement comes as part of the final round of store closures by administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) with other Nottinghamshire stores either closing this week or having already shut.

Giltbrook’s store was among 37 to close nationally on Monday (September 25), with 37 more – including Newark, Sutton-in-Ashfield and Worksop – closing on Wednesday (September 27).

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A further 37 will close on Friday, September 29, including the units in Mansfield and Retford.

These follow the stores in Clifton, Kimberley and Sherwood closing on September 19 and the Wilko units in Beeston and Carlton shutting on September 21.

Some local jobs may be saved after rival retailer Poundland agreed to buy 71 Wilko retail units nationally – including the units in Beeston, Kimberley and Worksop.

All three stores will become Poundland units in the coming weeks and union GMB pledged to take steps to ensure affected staff at these stores are prioritised.

Retailer B&M has also agreed to buy 51 Wilko stores, though the locations of those units have not yet been confirmed.

Overall, local job losses caused by the retailer’s collapse are likely to total more than 2,000 roles amidst a loss of roles at Wilko’s headquarters in Worksop.

Bassetlaw District Council described the high street giant’s demise as “like a pit closure” with jobs already cut at the retailer’s support offices and distribution centre in the town.

The Labour-led council held a support event last week aimed at affected staff with skills, retraining and employment support on offer.

It has now confirmed its plans for a second event on Thursday (September 28) including more than 40 stalls promising education and skills, benefits and jobseeker support.

The event will again run at The Bridge Skills Hub in Bridge Place, Worksop, from 11am until 4pm.

The Labour-led council said: “Our latest support with redundancy event for people affected by the Wilko closure is taking place tomorrow (September 28) at Bridge Skills Hub.

“We have over 40 exhibitors confirmed with employers including Tesco, Aldi, Morrisons, Asda, Cerealto UK, Frasers Group and many more.

“There will be support from Acas, Bassetlaw Citizen’s Advice Bureau and the Money and Benefits Advice.”

The event will be held at the same time Nottinghamshire County Council debates a Labour motion urging the authority to help affected Wilko staff.

The motion – lodged by Labour group leader Cllr Kate Foale – says the council should use its position as a “major employer” to support Wilko employees.

It says: “Nottinghamshire County Council has vacancies in valuable areas of work, such as the care sector.

“[We should] … establish links to support the significant number of Wilko staff in Nottinghamshire with transferrable skills who are at risk of losing their employment.

“[The council should also] take additional steps to connect Wilko staff to existing opportunities and to offer opportunities to learn new skills, with the view to joining our valued workforce.”

The motion will be debated at the authority’s full council meeting on Thursday, September 28.

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