AN SNP MSP has written to Marks and Spencer after the firm announced it would be closing a flagship Scottish store after 80 years.

On Thursday, M&S said it would be closing the St Nicholas Street store in central Aberdeen, off Union Street, which first opened in 1944.

The firm said that it would be expanding its outlet at Union Square, near Aberdeen station, as part of a £15 million revamp.

Kevin Stewart, the SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central, has written to the firm raising concerns about jobs, what will happen to the vacated site, and offering to meet to discuss the path forward.

The former transport minister wrote: “I understand that the new Union Square store will see Aberdeen become home to one of the leading stores in the M&S estate.

“Marks and Spencer has been at the heart of St Nicholas Square, and Union Street, for decades and many in Aberdeen, including myself, are saddened to hear that your store there will be closing down. The news today will undoubtedly leave many of my constituents with concerns.

“I would be grateful if you could outline your plans for the staff who currently work in the St Nicholas store. Ideally, all staff who currently work at the St Nicholas store will transfer to the new store but if that is not the case, I would implore you to ensure that any headcount reduction is carried out without compulsory redundancies.”

M&S previously told the Press and Journal that there will not be any loss of permanent jobs.

Stewart’s letter goes on: “I understand that Marks and Spencer is the owner of the St Nicholas site and I would ask that you play a proactive role in the search for a new tenant for the St Nicholas site.

“It would be devastating to the area if this site was to lie vacant for any length of time. Could I ask you to outline your plans for the St Nicholas site?

“Although I have concerns for the staff and customers of the St Nicholas shop, I welcome the investment in the Union Square store and the vote of confidence in Aberdeen that this represents. I wish you every success with the new store and for Marks and Spencer to have as long a future at Union Square as it has a history at St Nicholas Square.

“I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the future of both the St Nicholas site and the Union Square store.”

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Announcing the closure of the St Nicholas site on Thursday, Rachel Rankine, the north-east regional manager for M&S, said that the firm was aiming to create a “destination shopping experience”.

She said: “The scale of our investment is a vote of confidence in the future of retail in Aberdeen city centre.

“This will be a flagship store on the same scale as city centre stores in Birmingham and Liverpool.

“Where we have already invested in new formats, our customers have responded to the destination shopping experience.”