Members fight to save Heart of England Co-op stores in Rugby and Warwickshire

The Heart of England Co-operative Society store in Chapel Street, Rugby
The Heart of England Co-operative Society store in Chapel Street, Rugby

Members of the Heart of England Co-operative Society have successfully pushed for a meeting to discuss the closure of numerous Society stores and the possibility of re-opening them.

The Co-op announced its plans to close non-food stores across Warwickshire last year and Rugby’s branch in Chapel Street will be shutting its doors soon.

At the time of the announcement, the Co-op said its furniture and electrical stores were not making enough money and branches would be closed in phases.

But John Adams, a member of the group pushing for more information and comprising of councillors from Nuneaton and Hinckley, said the meeting was a step in the right direction.

“One of the main concerns of members must be, what is happening to all of the money raised by this sudden and dramatic sell off?”, he said.

“We have secured a Special Members Meeting to discuss these closures, most of which have already happened. We are looking to possibly re-open some of the stores, run by a different and more forward thinking Co Operative society.”

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey said: “I was obviously disappointed to learn of the Co-Op’s decision to close its Chapel Street store but we must use this as an opportunity to attract another big name retailer to our town centre.

“Rugby is a growing, thriving, town and I believe that the retail offer in our town centre can complement the improved offer at Elliott’s Field and that both can be successful. I will continue to do all I can to support our town centre and encourage new businesses to come to Rugby.”

In accordance with Rule 50 of the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Rule Book, the Society will be holding the Special Members Meeting, which will take place on the March 10 at 6pm.

The meeting will be held at Heart of England Co-operative Society Ltd, 22 Abbey Street, Nuneaton.

Mr Adams and fellow campaigners are urging members to attend the meeting and make their feelings known.

Admission to the meeting shall only be by production of the Members Share Pass Book or a receipt in lieu thereof. If a vote is required, each Member shall have one vote and must have been accepted as a Member for a period of not less than six months prior to the date of the meeting and must hold at least £1 share (fully paid).