Following the announcement of Matalan’s plans to move their head office operations to Knowsley, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper met with Chairman, John Mills and Darren Blackhurst the Chief Executive on Monday 14 May 2012.
MP Rosie met with the Matalan bosses to discuss their plans and to see if anything could be done to keep the head office of the national chain in West Lancashire.
MP Rosie said:
“Last week I expressed my deep disappointment at the news of Matalan considering leaving their current premises in Skelmersdale. Having now met with company bosses it is clear that they have taken the decision to leave. It emerged in our meeting that they have signed a lease for warehousing and applied for planning permission to build offices on the site in Knowsley.
“There is nothing that either West Lancashire Borough Council or Lancashire County Council can now do to encourage them or enable them to stay in the area. The message from the chairman is clear West Lancashire does not have the facilities or the accommodation to meet Matalan’s needs.
“I was, however, reassured that the company is absolutely committed to keeping its existing staff and transferring them to their new site over the next couple of years. In the current job market this is welcome news. The Chairman and the Chief Executive both expressed their desire to allay any concerns staff have about the implications of this move, such as transport to get from home to work. They indicated to me that this support would not be a token 3 month gesture but a longer term commitment to really support their staff getting to the new site.”
“Whilst meeting them face to face I did express once again my disappointment and sadness at their decision to move out of Skelmersdale after 15 years.
“In these difficult economic times, when every area is competing for jobs, employment, and businesses; West Lancashire Borough Council needs to be doing more to make our area attractive for businesses and work to make West Lancashire a place that compete in the 21st Century economy.
“While Matalan have been exploring their options and looking at sites for over 12 months, West Lancashire Borough Council Economic Development Team must have been asleep to have missed this fact and have lost the opportunity to try and keep one of the largest names in retail in West Lancashire.
“The loss of Dresser and Matalan should be a wake-up call for West Lancashire Borough Council and Lancashire County Council.”