Poundstretcher looks at relocating staff

GUTTED!. . . .The Poundstretcher premises on Bishop Street yesterday, after an overnight fire gutted the three storey premises. DER2815MC058
GUTTED!. . . .The Poundstretcher premises on Bishop Street yesterday, after an overnight fire gutted the three storey premises. DER2815MC058

Poundstretcher is seeking to relocate staff from its Derry store as a temporary measure until an interim premises in the city can be found.

Investigators were today due to inspect the shell of the large, three storey building on Bishop Street, as efforts continue to establish a cause for the blaze.

Poundstretcher Ltd Company Secretary Martin Collinson told the Journal that the situation was still unclear as access to the site had not ben granted yet because of concerns over the structural safety of the building.

He said however that Poundstretcher’ insurers were in the city, and that efforts were being made to try and place some of the Derry store staff at some of Poundstretcher’ other 25 stores across the north.

Mr Collinson said: “We are trying to relocate them in the short term to other stores and the next part of the process is to try and find some short-term alternative premises in the town we can perhaps relocate to.”

He said that it was still uncertain whether the entire Poundstretcher building - which the company leases- would have to be demolished or could be rebuilt. Store officials will liaise with the

He added however that the company were committed to maintaining a permanent premise in the city, whether that was at the old building or, if need be, at another permanent site.

“It’s a very important market to us Our intention and desire is to remain a presence in the town.”

Derry Poundstretcher manager John Hamill also vowed the company would return bigger and better than ever as he joined some of the visibly upset staff who arrive to find their workplace destroyed yesterday morning.

Over 50 fire-fighters from Derry’s two stations, Strabane, Limavady, Dungiven worked for a full 24 hours from 1.30am on Thursday right through to 1.30am Friday to bring the blaze under control and prevent it spreading to adjoining properties.

It is understood forensic investigators will comb the charred interior of the building once it is declared safe for them to do so.

One lane of Bishop Street was today reopened to traffic, while police remain at the scene outside the Poundstretcher store.