Pontypridd MP urges M&S to reconsider ‘short-sighted’ closure plan

Owen Smith, MP for Pontypridd, has expressed his deep disappointment at the decision of M&S to close its store on Taff Street.

Describing the recent and planned recent investment in the town, Mr Smith describes the huge potential for Pontypridd and local businesses.

Mr Smith has requested a meeting with M&S Senior Management and urges the company to invest in the town, rather than withdraw from it.

The full letter is printed below.

 Dear David,

 Thank you for your email and for notice of your intention to close your Pontypridd store. May I express in the strongest terms my deep disappointment at this decision and my hope that you will reconsider. The store has been a mainstay of the town for the whole of my life and there will be desperate sadness if you make this decision.

 I would also like to meet with you and your senior management team as soon as possible to explain why I think this is a short-sighted move and one that you would come to regret as much as we in Pontypridd will regret it. The town has already undergone a facelift in recent years, with a new street-scape, a multi-million pound investment in the railway station and services, and the redevelopment of Wales’ only remaining lido at the heart of our award-winning park.

 Further millions are set to be invested in a new arts and cultural quarter and the council has recently purchased the key Taff Vale site at the other end of Taff Street with a view to undertake a significant public and private sector joint development. Private sector house building and sales has picked up significantly in the Pontypridd area, in part prompted by anticipation of the potential renaissance of Pontypridd as the central hub of the valleys wide ‘Metro’ light rail system being proposed by the Welsh Assembly Government.

 All of these improvements would have a long term beneficial impact on sales at all stores in Pontypridd, including M&S. I would  urge you therefore to reconsider the long term benefits of investment, not closure, in Pontypridd and ask that you meet with me, our local assembly Member, Mick Antoniw and our local authority leadership as soon as is possible.


Owen Smith