Petition launched to save large Sainsbury's supermarket from closure in Milton Keynes

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Hundreds of residents are urging Sainsbury's bosses to change their mind about closing a town centre supermarket.

Sainsbury's in Bletchley's Brunel Centre was one of the first major supermarkets to open up in MK and residents say it is a vital part of the town.

But it will be closed down in January 2021 due to a "range of factors", says the company.

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Products from Sainsbury will be sold in the food hall at Dobbies on Watling Street in Bletchley. But this will not be walking distance for many people, say shoppers.

The store is easily accessible, say shoppersThe store is easily accessible, say shoppers
The store is easily accessible, say shoppers

This week resident Colin Higton launched a petition on called Keep Bletchley Sainsburys Open. Already it has more than 1,100 signatures.

Colin said: "Bletchley has one supermarket in the town centre. There was at one time three. Sainsbury proposes to close this store in January.

"A lot of elderly people live in central Bletchley; they don't drive and the local store is a lifeline. The store is very popular and a lot of the staff have been there a long time.

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"Sainsbury seems to think it's okay to close the store as there are two other stores which are a short drive away. The government wants us to leave the car at home as much as possible - this closure does the opposite."

Sainsbury's at BletchleySainsbury's at Bletchley
Sainsbury's at Bletchley

Colin added: "I suppose Sainsbury will argue that you can always shop online as a lot of us have done during the pandemic. Shopping online is okay, but you don't get the interaction with other people as you do by going to the store, also you don't always get what you ordered and you can't check use-by dates.

"Bletchley needs this store, it has lost so much over the last 20 years. If this store goes a lot more will follow as there will be fewer people going to the town centre."

A Sainsbury spokesperson said the company regularly reviews its estate and this decision has been based on a range of factors.

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He added: “We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Bletchley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected."

You can sign the petition here .