The news that retail company Next is planning to shut its Bradford warehouse, affecting nearly 800 workers, has prompted mixed reactions from locals on social media.

Among those most affected are long-time employees like Cheryl Murgatroyd, who lamented, "19 years of working for Next and this is happening to me and all my friends - can't believe it."

Posting on the T&A's Facebook page, Lynette Daynes added: "We are all devastated and will find it hard to get to other warehouses to carry on working with them, but with no transportation to get there which is more than half of the warehouse it’s not viable to do so, 20 years I gave them."

Paolo Dunnachie asked: "So how are any of the current staff gonna get to South Emsall or South Yorkshire?"

Nicole Crosby-Mckenna was concerned that Bradford "can't afford to lose big employers", alluding to the younger population and increasing unemployment rates.

She queried what Bradford Council and local representatives have done to try to keep Next in Bradford.

A former employee, Chris Marsden, who exited the company five months ago, disclosed his sorrow, but maintained he was glad he left when he did, adding: "Feel for everyone else."

Others, like Terry Maule who trained staff there in the 90s, expressed sadness at the potential loss of an establishment that was a launchpad for many.

Donna Midgley described the news as signalling the "end of an era", a sentiment echoed by Nicola Campbell.

Murtaza Ali Shah went further to underscore that it was a "real shame and a massive loss to Bradford."

Gary Sawyer gave a beam of hope, reminding everyone that Next is not going bankrupt but has plans to relocate to a new, possibly upgraded, facility.

However, Tracey Clemens criticised the local authorities, claiming they "don't give a hoot".

Michelle Shellsbells Spencer mused that the impending closure could be an offshoot of the recently-introduced Clean Air Zone, an environmental measure that could influence businesses.

Above all, many grieved at the possible loss of a cornerstone of employment and looked towards an uncertain future.

As previously reported in the T&A, Next has released a statement confirming the firm is proposing to close the depot between the start of August and the end of September next year and that 780 logistics staff within the Toftshaw site are affected.

They said: "It is with sadness that we announce the proposed closure of our warehouse at Toftshaw Lane in Bradford.

"The closure is necessary in order to consolidate our returns processing operation into the new Online fulfilment facility being developed in South Elmsall.

"We anticipate the closure will take place in around nine months time, between the beginning of August and end of September 2024.

"We are consulting with everyone affected along with USDAW/SATA, our recognised Trade Union."

One of the main reasons the move is taking place is because the Bradford warehouse requires "significant maintenance and investment over the coming years, including a full replacement of its roof," according to Next.

The major retailer said the site would be forced to completely shut and staff would have to relocate while the work took place - and would come at a "considerable cost".