THE Co-op has announced it is to close its store in Brook Street, Ilkley, this month.

A spokesperson for Co-op, confirmed: “The Co-op is moving forward with a clear purpose and momentum and while this often involves opening new stores, we also regularly review our existing sites.

"The decision to close any store is never taken lightly and, only after careful consideration. Our Brook Street store will close on 22 January.

"The decision to close the store is in no way a reflection on the hard work and commitment of colleagues, who have been informed.

"We would like to thank the community for its support of this store over the years. Co-op remains committed to serving the local community through its nearby store in Bolton Bridge Road.”

The news has been greeted with dismay by local residents. One resident said: "This little Co-op has been a life line to me and hundreds of other town centre residents, workers and businesses in the town. Through the worst times of Covid this was the only store I and many of my neighbours, and I know others, felt safe using for shopping.

"It has always been well stocked. It's staffed by a wonderfully friendly team who always have time to see how you are and share a laugh, even on the darkest days.

"They are a community hub where friends and neighbours often bump into each other and catch up.

"Yes, there is another store on the other side of town but it lacks the stock, convenient location and more importantly the spirit of the Brook St store."