Pharmacy closure prompts concerns about future of Jennyfields retail
Last updated Dec 31, 2023
Boots pharmacy inside the Jennyfields Co-op.

Jennyfields residents have expressed concerns about the forthcoming closure of the Boots pharmacy in the Co-op.

The Stray Ferret reported last month Boots planned to close 300 UK stores, with those in close proximity to other sites run by the company most at risk.

But the loss of the facility has upset locals — and heightened fears about the future of retail in Jennyfields, where many shops are shut.

The nearest Boots pharmacies will be in Harrogate town centre, Knaresborough Market Place, St James’s Retail Park and Market Place West in Ripon when the one in Jennyfields closes.

Freda Roach, a nearby resident, described the loss of the pharmacy as a “great blow to the local community” and a “retrograde step”, adding:

“[The pharmacy] is used by a great number of Jennyfields people who do not have a car and use the bus or walk.

“I for one will be very upset when the branch is closed as the nearest pharmacy is not in walking distance, and relying on buses will make it half a day’s job having to travel into Harrogate.”

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Another Jennyfields resident, David Smith, said the move was “ridiculous”.

He said:

“I have been going there for prescriptions for at least 30 years. It is always busy and recently you usually have to queue.

“In addition, I understand that the next nearest surgery at Killinghall is closing.

“We are going backwards rather than forwards.”

 ‘A popular and busy pharmacy’

Councillor Michael Harrison, a Conservative who represents Killinghall, Hampsthwaite and Saltergate on North Yorkshire Council, was also “disappointed” by the news.

He told the Stray Ferret:

“I was very disappointed to hear that Boots intend to close the pharmacy located in the Jennyfields Co-op – and I have asked the public health team at the council to consider what representations we need to make to NHS England, who are responsible for ensuring pharmacy provision is adequate.

“This is a very popular and busy pharmacy.”

Three out of four units are closed at the Jennyfield Drive site.

One Stray Ferret social media follower commented to say the centre used to be a “thriving little area”. But three out of four units on the Jennyfield Drive site, as well as the Stone Beck pub, are closed.

The prospect of a new Tesco supermarket a mile away has also fuelled concerns about the future of retail in Jennyfields.

But Cllr Harrison said:

“Jennyfields is a vibrant housing estate, and is more than capable of supporting quality businesses in this location – I am keen to understand what the landlords’ plans are to ensure the future attractiveness and viability of the units.”

A spokesperson for the Co-op said the use of the space occupied by the pharmacy is “being reviewed” and “no decisions have been taken at this stage”.

Twenty UK Boots stores have already closed in line with the new plan – four of which are in Yorkshire.

Boots declined to comment on the Jennyfields closure when approached by the Stray Ferret. But staff at the pharmacy told the Stray Ferret they have been “given options” about employment going forward.