BETTYS is to press ahead with the closure of its 'Little Bettys' branch in York's Stonegate, with nine employees affected by the decision.

The firm says a final closure date has yet to be confirmed and the focus now will be on efforts to redeploy those affected.

The Press revealed earlier this month that Bettys was proposing to close its remaining shop in Stonegate, after the first floor cafe had already shut earlier this year, but the firm says the decision has now been confirmed following consultation.

A spokesperson said today: "With Bettys flagship branch in St Helen’s Square just a short walk away, having a small standalone shop wasn’t practical.While its character is much loved by customers and staff alike, it is an increasingly challenging environment to operate in, and the least commercially viable of the branches."

Managing director Simon Eyles, said: "This has been a very tough decision, but one we have made for the long-term future of our business.

"Our people are our strength and we are focussing our energy now to find opportunities for the Little Bettys team in other roles within the business. We’re hugely grateful for their ongoing support and commitment. Our thanks also go to our customers. Many have visited Little Bettys regularly for years, sometimes decades."