Department store Eaden Lilley closes

PUBLISHED: 15:30 23 January 2009 | UPDATED: 21:40 31 May 2010

Eaden Lilley department store in Saffron Walden

Eaden Lilley department store in Saffron Walden

SAFFRON Walden s flagship department store is closing down, it was announced on Friday. Eaden Lilley in the Market Square has gone into administration putting jobs at risk and depriving the town centre of its largest retail outlet. A famil

SAFFRON Walden's flagship department store is closing down, it was announced on Friday.

Eaden Lilley in the Market Square has gone into administration putting jobs at risk and depriving the town centre of its largest retail outlet.

A family run company since 1750, Eaden Lilley has stores in Saffron Walden, St Ives and Great Shelford. Although the branches in Saffron Walden and Great Shelford are closed, the St Ives branch is still trading at present.

Staff in Saffron Walden were told on Friday morning that the shop would be closed. One employee, who has worked at the store for more than two years, said she was "disappointed" by the announcement, but added that staff had been told not to comment.

Cllr Alastair Walters, who represents Saffron Walden on Uttlesford District Council, said: "I'm very sorry to see it go because it was an important shop in the town. Unfortunately we're caught in this world recession and the process could last up to two years, so I heard this morning.

"But it has been noticeable in the last two or so months as we've seen a spate of empty shops."

Mr Walters, who is chairman of the Saffron Walden Town Centre Working Group, said the town was still a vibrant shopping centre and would attract a big name.

"There are not many large shops in the town because there are a lot of old, small buildings. A lot of companies require a minimum amount of floor space. So this could be a unique opportunity for a major player to get into Saffron Walden. It will be interesting to see what happens," he said.

"I hope a new business moves in as soon as possible. The Market Square redevelopment is only going to help make Saffron Walden more attractive to shops and visitors. This is a great surviving town and will get through this."

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