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Beverley Knight says Beatties closure would 'break her heart'

By Alex Ross | Wolverhampton | Entertainment | Published:

The Wolverhampton singer is backing the Express & Star's fight to save Beatties

Beverley Knight

Wolverhampton's Beverley Knight today added her support to the Express & Star campaign calling on Beatties owner Mike Ashley to keep the store open.

The soul star said closure of the department store would 'break my heart'.

The future of Beatties is uncertain after Mr Ashley purchased it from the collapsed House of Fraser.

Beverley Knight at Christmas Gala at Beatties in 2006

Tomorrow, he is expected to reveal a string of store closures. Telford's House of Fraser will remain open, it was announced last week.

Beverley, aged 45, is rehearsing for her role as Emmeline Pankhurst in Sylvia, which starts at the Old Vic in London from September 3.

She returns to Wolverhampton regularly to see her family. She starred at a Christmas Gala at Beatties in 2006.

She said: “Beatties has been everyone’s go-to department store in Wolverhampton since forever.

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What does the future hold for Beatties?

"I loved going into the perfume counter as a child and getting overwhelmed by all the different fragrances.

"I still remember feeling ever so posh when I would spend my money there.

"Beatties is quite simply a Wolvo institution and it would break my heart to see it go, not to mention the loss of so many jobs.”

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Also to back the campaign is Wolves record goalscorer Steve Bull, Britain's Got Talent star Donchez Dacres and cycling legend Hugh Porter

The Express & Star is backing Beatties

Mr Ashley bought House of Fraser out of administration for £90 million after previous attempts to rescue the ailing department store chain all failed.

He has said he wants to keep 80 per cent of the 59 stores open, turning them into the "Harrods of the high street" but warned at the start of the week that 'greedy' landlords threatened to frustrate his efforts.

Mr Ashley and his property team have secured deals to keep around nine stores open, including the flagship Oxford Street shop in London. The fate of many other stores is likely to be revealed today.

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
Investigations Editor - @alexross_star

Investigations Editor at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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