Express & Star

We're backing Beatties: Thousands of Express & Star readers support campaign

Famous faces support Express & Star in fight for future of iconic Wolverhampton store

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Express & Star editor Keith Harrison with BGT's Donchez Dacres, the Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton, Phil Page and Elaine Hadley-Howell and Wolverhampton's cycling legend Hugh Porter campaign at the doors of Beatties

Thousands of readers have backed the Express & Star campaign to keep Beatties open.

In just 48 hours almost 6,000 people have voted in our online poll, calling on House of Fraser's new owner Mike Ashley to keep the iconic Wolverhampton city centre store open.

Many have also contacted the Express & Star with memories of the landmark Victoria Street store which once featured a famous record store and toy department.


Mr Ashley has said 80 per cent of the department chain's 59 stores will remain open as part of a vision to turn the business into the 'Harrods of the high street'.

Today, our campaign to save the 141-year-old department store is gathering pace.

Founder James Beattie's great granddaughter, Vicki Redshaw, city MPs and councillors, and Black Country Chamber of Trade member Ninder Johal have all backed us.

More coverage from the Express & Star on the fight for Beatties' future

Now Wolves star Steve Bull, radio DJ Dicky Dodd, television star Donchez Dacres, cycling legend Hugh Porter and presenter Jacqui Oatley have also voiced their support for the iconic store.

Wolves record goalscorer Bully said: "Mr Ashley needs to listen to the people of Wolverhampton, who are very good, hardworking people who will always have Beatties in their heart."

Mr Porter said: "Wolverhampton wouldn't be the same without Beatties – the support for the Express & Star campaign just shows the strong feeling of people here."

Hugh Porter backs the Express & Star campaign

Wolverhampton Mayor Phil Page said: "As Wolverhampton starts to go places, we need this store to remain open."

Joining them have been thousands of people living across the Black Country who say the store must stay open.

Joyce Cooper, aged 90, from Wednesfield worked in the canteen after the Second World War and remembers regularly serving the Wolves football team.

She said: "So many memories, so many good times. We can't be without it."

WATCH: Donchez and Hugh Porter back Beatties

Wolverhampton North East MP Emma Reynolds also backed the Express & Star campaign over Beatties.

She said: "I am backing the Express & Star campaign to save Beatties - iconic building in Wolverhampton and one of most beautiful department stores in the country.

"Hopeful that takeover of House of Fraser will secure its future. Please support the campaign.

This week, London's Oxford Street was the first to be saved from closure, but there is no news from Mr Ashley over the future of the remaining 58 House of Fraser stores yet.

We will create a dossier to present to Mr Ashley, putting our case forward to keep Beatties open.