A DEAL has been reached to keep Farmfoods in Nelson for at least a further six months.

The frozen food retailer had been due to close down next week, but they are now staying in the Pendle Rise shopping centre until at least June.

Concerns had been raised that losing Farmfoods, an anchor tenant in the shopping centre, which has been in receivership since 2010, could signal the death knell for Pendle Rise.

Coun Eileen Ansar, who runs a clothing shop, Slick, in the town centre, said the deal was a huge boost for the town centre.

“This is brilliant news for all the staff and for the town centre as a whole,” she said.

“The staff are over the moon that something has been agreed and that Farmfoods is staying for now, and their jobs are a little safer.

“It is good news for Pendle Rise as well and it is a bit of security for the shopping centre. Farmfoods is the biggest unit in there and must account for 85 to 90 per cent of the footfall heading in to the centre.

“It is good news for everyone that they have managed to come to some agreement.

“Hopefully it will mean that they will be staying for a longer period than the initial six months.”

Dan Moss, manager at Farmfoods in Nelson, said: “The deal is for a six-month rolling contract so we will be remaining open for now.

“I would think that it will then be reviewed further down the line.”