OXFORD City Council says it will support staff who were made redundant after it was revealed that Debenhams in Oxford will not reopen after lockdown.

In an email sent to employees, retail directors said that the store on Magdalen Street will not reopen because 'the landlord has served notice on the store as they have alternative plans for the site'.

The company must therefore close the department store, which has been in the city for decades.

Councillor Mary Clarkson, cabinet member for city centre, Covered Market and culture said: "This is devastating news. Debenhams has been a cornerstone of Oxford’s retail offer for decades.

“My thoughts and Oxford City Council’s primary focus are with Debenhams’ employees, many of whom will have dedicated their career to the company. We will do all we can to support any employees in the city impacted.

“If you are an employee of the Oxford store, the City Council is here to support you. If you need help making benefits applications or just need information about the support that is out there, please call us on 01865 249811.

“We also stand ready to work with the building’s owners to help ensure the building, which is in a key city centre location, is brought back into use to positively contribute to the high street as quickly as possible.”

The news comes after Debenhams announced last week that it would shut six stores nationwide.

Oxford Mail readers are sad to see the retailer shut its doors for good in Oxford.

ALSO READ: Debenhams Oxford closure: readers 'gutted'

Stefan Thomas commented: "Always loved Debenhams. Bought loads from there over the years and when I had a special occasion a few years ago I used their personal shopper service which, for a bloke, was invaluable.

"I worked their briefly in 1984 in one of the shoe concessions.

"I hope it won't be empty for two long."