BUILDERS’ merchant Travis Perkins has announced the closure of one of its branches.

The company, which operates 1,900 outlets, and has more than 27,000 employees across the United Kingdom and Ireland, has announced the closure of its Darwen store.

The store is expected to close on November 10 and staff are currently involved in a consultation process.

It is understood three staff are affected by the move but that the firm is aiming to avoid any compulsory redundancies.

A spokesperson from Travis Perkins said: “We regularly review the performance of all branches and sites to make sure we are operating effectively and efficiently and that we maintain the best possible commercial performance.

“It is with regret that, following a lengthy review process, we have come to the conclusion of closing the Darwen branch.

“We have entered a consultation period, where we will support and work closely with affected colleagues to decide the best approach to for their individual futures.”

Customers who used the branch are being directed towards nearby branches in Blackburn, Accrington, Horwich and Bolton.

Darwen mayor Cllr Roy Davies was told of the planned closure by a Darwen based builder who had received a letter from the company informing him the branch would be ceasing trading.

Cllr Davies said he was ‘gobsmacked’ by the news.

He said: “When you look at all the building that goes in Darwen, it makes you wonder, are they not using Travis Perkins or are they all getting their supplies from outside Darwen?

“If people aren’t using these locally companies it’s no wonder they are being shut down.

“You have to use them or lose them.

“One of the things we on the Town Council take into account when we are giving out funding to business is if they will be using local businesses in the construction.

“If we have all these big projects going on in Darwen we should be able to sustain a place like Travis Perkins, I’m just gobsmacked.

“It’s a really big blow to the town because there will be nowhere to buy building supplies in Darwen once it closes so people will have to go out of town.”

The news comes following a move by the business last year that saw more than thirty branches across its trade business close, affecting 600 jobs.