THE McDonald’s restaurant in Gosport high street will be closing next month, the company has announced.
The restaurant, at 57-59 High Street, will be closing on November 17 as a new branch opens further up the town.
McDonald’s confirmed that the decision was made because of the new opening in Brockhurst Gate Retail Park – which will open two days after the high street closure.
A spokeswoman said: ‘We can confirm that the Gosport High Street restaurant will be closing on November 17 with a new drive thru opening on the 19th.
‘All of our employees have been offered roles in the new store, and we’re pleased to be creating more jobs in this new restaurant than we had in the High Street location.’
Twice as many jobs will be up for grabs at the new restaurant – with 100 positions compared to the current store's 50 – but the closure will still leave a big hole in Gosport’s high street.
Ward councillor for Town, Cllr June Cully, says that it is a shame to lose a store like this in the high street, but that other businesses may benefit from the chain’s move.
She said: ‘It is a big store for Gosport high street to lose, but I guess we are still spoiled for choice in the area with places such as Burger King, KFC and loads of other takeaways.
‘McDonald’s has always been pretty popular though so it is a shame to see it go – but I do think the other food joints might be able to benefit from the move.’
Cllr Cully has also welcomed the decision to offer all current employees jobs in the new retail park, and remains optimistic about the future of the high street.
She explained: ‘It’s good to see that the staff can keep their jobs; we’ll just have to wait and see what options come in to take McDonald’s place.
‘I do understand why they have moved, because a lot of people will be pleased at the prospect of a more central retail park – but I’m not too worried about the high street’s future.
‘We are always looking for more retail so it would be good to give people more shopping choices.’