A POTENTIAL new operator has been identified for the closure-threatened shop and Post Office in Helensburgh’s Churchill Square.

But campaigners say Morrisons’ reputation in the town is “at stake” if they do not pause their plans to allow for a “smooth transition”.

Councillor Fiona Howard, who has been involved in the Save Our Shop (SOS) campaign launched by 17-year-old Taylor Cameron, thanked residents for their support so far.

As reported previously in the Advertiser, the Morrisons supermarket chain earmarked the Churchill facility for closure after completing its purchase of McColl’s stores around the UK.

Cllr Howard said: “There is a potential new owner for the shop and Post Office and we are hoping that an easy transfer might be managed with the co-operation of Morrisons so that any break in service can be as short as possible.

“The response of the people of Helensburgh in support of the Save our Shop campaign has been amazing and everyone who has taken part either by signing the petition, leafleting or just generally making their views known deserves a huge vote of thanks.”

Following a community meeting last week, locals took their fight directly to Morrisons in Helensburgh on Saturday, December 17.

Dressed as Father Christmas, Taylor said: “CEO David Potts will be on the naughty list unless he pauses the closure of the shop and post office.”

Helensburgh Advertiser: The shop is due to close on January 8The shop is due to close on January 8 (Image: Polly Jones)

Resident and campaigner Polly Jones added: “Morrisons’ reputation in Helensburgh is at stake.

“Residents remember the long delay in opening the new supermarket at the height of the pandemic.

“Now, Morrisons is preventing a smooth transition to a new shop and services at Churchill.

“Don’t leave us without a post office, David Potts. Do the right thing and pause the closure.”

A spokesperson for Morrisons said: “We very much regret the closure of some McColl's stores, but a number of them have been loss-making for some time and there are 132 stores where there is no realistic prospect of achieving a breakeven position in the medium term.

“We recognise the particular importance of the community Post Office counters to their local areas, especially around Christmas, and so we will delay the closure of stores which include a Post Office until next year to enable them to serve their communities through Christmas and to allow the Post Office additional time to make alternative arrangements.”

The SOS petition, which has gathered almost 1,500 signatures, can be found here.