THE café at Debenhams in Golden Square Shopping Centre will not reopen after the coronavirus lockdown, the Warrington Guardian understands.

A key tenant of the town centre’s prime retail area, the department store giant’s future in the town had looked under threat when the company announced a host of closures earlier this year – including its Warrington branch.

But the shop was saved last month after a deal was thrashed out between Debenhams, Warrington Borough Council and Golden Square owners La Salle.

Now it is claimed that some staff at the store will be made redundant as a result of plans to close its restaurant and travel money section.

National media outlets reported over the weekend that administrators have decided to close most of the chain’s cafes after receiving leaked internal emails.

And it is believed that the Warrington site’s eatery is among those affected, with all restaurant staff made redundant and were informed during a conference call with bosses towards the end of last week.

The dad of one worker, who has worked for Debenhams for several years, said: “First of all they got told the complete store was closing.

“Then they got told the landlords have agreed a new lease and will be reopening, and all restaurant staff would be placed in different departments until the restaurant was able to open.

“All restaurant staff and foreign exchange money staff then had a conference call last week to say the restaurant will no longer be opening and they are all being made redundant.”

It is anticipated that Debenhams stores will begin to reopen from the middle of this month.

A spokesman said: “Debenhams’ preparations to reopen the vast majority of its stores from June 15 are well underway following the successful conclusion of lease negotiations on 120 stores.

“In the context of a retail industry undergoing profound change, the management team is working on the future shape of the group with a view to seeking an exit from administration as a going concern.

“With a leaner and more flexible operating model, Debenhams will have the ability to adapt to what are likely to be fundamental shifts in the future trading environment.”