'Rochdale simply cannot become a casualty of Brexit' Says Ansari

February 10, 2021 8:52 AM
By Rochdale Liberal Democrats

JD Sports Set to Move Distribution Centre - 1000 Jobs At Risk

Hassan Ansari (Milkstone & Deeplish Liberal Democrats)On hearing the news that JD Sports could shed upto 1000 jobs in Rochdale, local Lib Dem Business Spokesperson, Hassan Ansari, said: 'This kind of thing is never good to hear - if the move goes ahead it will affect families across the Borough at what is already an incredibly difficult time'.

To reduce costs and shake off post Brexit admin, the sports and leisure company is said to be eyeing relocating their distribution centre away from Rochdale and most likely across the channel.Hassan went on,' The council has pegged Rochdale's future growth and prosperity to attracting more employers like JD Sports to the Borough. If we can't keep the ones we have - is this really a sustainable strategy?'

Rochdale Council Leadership have said as recently as last December that their ambitious house building plans for the Borough are directly connected to the expected influx of major distribution centres - like the JD Sports centre on Kingsway.

Since the UK left the EU at the end of 2020 many businesses have reported significant strains as a result of the often chaotic new arrangements. Westminster has pledged that these 'teething troubles' will soon be behind us and that business will get used to the new arrangements. JD Sports seem to have little appetite to wait until things improve.

Hassan has called on the Council and local MP Tony Lloyd, to intervene now to prevent this potentially devastating loss to the local economy.

'We need a co-ordinated local and national strategy to support business right now - Rochdale simply cannot become a casualty of Brexit. As one of the towns largest employers the cost to livelihoods will be enormous - let alone the stress the staff and their families must be going through right now. After a year of lockdowns and furlough this just couldn't be worse news for them.'