A HAMPSHIRE MP has written to the boss of Marks & Spencer urging him to rethink the closure of a store in her constituency which could result in the loss of almost 60 jobs.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes has appealed M&S chairman Archie Norman to reconsider the company’s plans shut its Fareham branch

Ms Fernandes said: “M&S is one of the main retailers at Fareham Shopping Centre, helping to make it as thriving as it is as well as being popular with local customers.

“It would be a great shame to see it leave and it would be a disaster for the 58 people employed there. I have requested greater clarity on the future of staff at the branch and how they will be supported if the plans go ahead.’

M&S’s decision is a further blow to the shoppin centre which lost another big name - BHS - in 2016.

In her letter the MP says: “Marks & Spencer in Fareham Shopping Centre is a vibrant and lively store providing high quality good to the local community. Having visited the store this week, I know that many people in Fareham, as well as the 58 employees at the store, will feel aggrieved.

“Please can you review this decision and place ore weight on the fact that a thriving shopping centre like Fareham’s depends heavily on a successful Marks & Spencer’s branch and contributes to the quality of our community.”

M&S announced plans to close 14 shops earlier this week in the wake of falling profits and a poor performance over Christmas where both sales in clothing and its normally reliable food section were both down..

Among the others set for the chop are Bournemouth and Andover.

Bournemotuh is due to close in April but no date has been set for Fareham or Andover.

Following the announcement Sacha Berendji, director of retail at Marks & Spencer, said:We’re committed to transforming M&S for our customers, colleagues and shareholders.

“Stores will always be an integral part of our customer experience, alongside M&S.com, but we have to ensure we have the right offer in the right locations.”

“We don’t want any colleagues to leave M&S and we will work with each colleague individually on what is best for them as we endeavour to give everyone a role.

The retailer also said that it has “reassessed and reduced” its Simply Food opening programme, and now only plans to open a total of 36 owned and franchise stores over the next six months.

M&S currently has 1,025 stores in the UK, comprising 302 clothing, home and food shops, 684 food-only premises and 39 outlets.