NINETEEN jobs are at risk after the Co-operative confirmed it is to close its Padiham convenience store.

The Co-op, which has had a presence in the town for more than 100 years, will close its Burnley Road shop on June 14.

Former Burnley MP Peter Pike described it as ‘a sad day for the staff and the local Co-operative movement’.

The closure comes just 18 months after rival retailers Tesco opened a superstore in nearby Wyre Street.

A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food said: “We can confirm that The Co-operative Food store in Burnley Road, Padiham, is to close on Saturday June 14.

“Staff at the store have been informed of the decision, which has been taken with the greatest reluctance and is due to the store’s poor trading performance. It is not, in any way, a reflection on the commitment and hard work of the store team. Every effort is being made to redeploy as many as possible of the 19 members of staff with The Co-operative Group, or to help them find alternative employment.”

Mr Pike, Burnley MP from 1983 to 2005, said: “As a regular shopper at Padiham Co-op I am very sorry to hear the store will close on June 14 making 19 staff redundant.

“I was a former director of the Co-op and in the 1960s the Padiham Co-op merged with Burnley Co-op to form the Pendle Co-op.

“In the 1960s there were some Co-op stores – far too many – but this closure will only leave one food outlet on Briercliffe Road, Burnley.

“It is a sad day for the staff and the local Co-operative movement.”

The future of the building has yet to be decided.