A MARKS & Spencer store that campaigners battled to save from closure for five years is to close its doors for the last time next week.

The long-standing outlet in the East Kilbride Shopping Centre is to close after the company reached an agreement over its lease.

At its height, 67 people were employed at the Marks & Spencer store in the shopping centre.

Staff will be transferred to a “nearby store” the company said in a statement last night.

Marks & Spencer was earlier embroiled in a legal wrangle over the lease.

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The shop had been earmarked for closure since 2018, prompting a campaign by residents and politicians.

The town centre store is 27,400 square feet in size, and before the first Covid lockdown, the shop had a food hall and sold men's and women's clothing.

Scott Munro, regional manager for Marks & Spencer, said: “We’re rotating our store estate to make sure we have the right stores to offer our customers a brilliant shopping experience.

"As part of this transformation, we announced our intention to close our East Kilbride Shopping Centre store some years ago and have been looking to agree a commercial agreement with our landlord.

“We’ve now reached a mutual commercial agreement and can confirm our store will close on February 25."

He said: "All colleagues are being offered a transfer to a nearby store.

"Closing this store means we can invest in many of our other 94 stores across Scotland – including the renewal of our nearby East Kilbride Kingsgate foodhall where next month we’re unveiling a new fresh-market design and bigger in-store bakery.”

Separately, Sapphire, East Kilbride Shopping Centre’s owner, went into administration late last year, with a buyer sought.

M&S first opened in the South Lanarkshire town in 1973, when one Thursday in July it was reported more than 100 people were waiting for the doors to open at 6.30am.