A DEPARTMENT store at the heart of a North Yorkshire town is set to be shut down and demolished from September.

A spokesman for the Beales store in Albert Street, Harrogate, said it tried to extend its lease of the building, formerly known as Sunwin House and Westgate, but failed to reach an agreement with the landlord.

The spokesman said: “The landlord of the Harrogate store has served notice on our lease which runs out at the end of September which means we have to exit the store by that time. The landlord is seeking to redevelop the entire site, knocking down the old store and building a new set of buildings.

“Beales sought to extend its lease with the landlord but have been told that redevelopment will commence in October 2014.

“We will be working with the landlord and then detailing the next steps for all affected employees in due course.”

Beales was one of the founding names of the department store movement, opening its first store in Bournemouth in 1881. It currently has about 30 stores across the country.