BOSSES at Marks & Spencer have performed a U-turn over plans to close their food shop at Monks Cross, meaning 40 more jobs are available than expected.

The Simply Food shop will now remain open, operating alongside the company’s new store at the neighbouring Vangarde Shopping Park.

As a result of the change, 40 jobs that were due to transfer from the closed Simply Food Store, are now available at the new shop, as the Simply Food store staff keep their current roles.

The total number of jobs created at the new store, which is due to open on April 10, is now 240.

Marks & Spencer said the decision has been made based on the popularity of the Monks Cross store, with bosses believing that the shop can sit alongside the larger new store, which is set to stock a full clothing line, homeware and food.

M&S Monks Cross store manager Hilary Wilkinson said: “This is a welcome boost for M&S at Monks Cross. The two stores will complement each other and it means we are able to offer even more job opportunities to local people.”

The existing Marks and Spencer general merchandise store at Monks Cross will still close as planned on April 9, when the Simply Food store was also set to close.

Also closing because of the new store is Marks & Spencer’s homeware and cafe in the Coppergate Centre, which will close on April 26.

Staff at both the stores are transferring to the new shop on the Vangarde Shopping Park.

Alongside Marks & Spencer the Vangarde development is a new £15 million John Lewis and a Next store, both of which will also be opening on April 10.

Only one unit at the development remains available for let after Ed’s Easy Diner completed a deal in January. It adds to food brands already lined up for the development, including Costa Coffee, Prezzo, Nando’s, Frankie & Benny’s and Giraffe.