A Bridport town clerk remains upbeat about the future of the high street despite the imminent closure of a fashion chain which recently went into administration.

Clothes retailer M&Co, which has a shop in East Street, said that it had appointed administrators on Friday, December 9.

Two of the firm's Dorset-based stores suddenly closed prior to the announcement, with branches in Dorchester and Wimborne shutting up shop at the end of November.

There was no word about the future of the Bridport branch, but signs were spotted this week on the store windows announcing it is also due to close down, offering customers up to 50 per cent off items.

Despite worrying times for the high street, Bridport Town Council clerk Will Austin is hoping the market town is faring better than other areas in the county.

He had hoped that the M&Co store would not fall victim to the national issues facing the firm.

The company has been in administration once before, in 2020, when 47 stores and 381 jobs were lost while the business was restructured and taken over by a new trading company.

Despite the current cost of living crisis, as well as the recent news that HSBC in Bridport will also close next year, Mr Austin remained confident that, compared to other similar towns, Bridport's high street is in a good place.

He said: "The impact is much worse in other towns. In Bridport, the town centre has weathered the storm of Covid-19 followed by the economic downturn, followed by the cost of living crisis relatively well.

"The number of empty shops is low compared with other similar towns and other towns in Dorset.

"We are really pleased with the way our local business people have responded to the challenges facing them at the moment and long may that continue.

"I am sure we wouldn't be complacent and we are keen to see Bridport being properly supported through the latest economic difficulties.

“With that in mind, Bridport Town council has this week published its investment plan for the town which seeks a total of £9m in funding for the town centre."

The Bridport and Lyme Regis News has contacted M&Co regarding the future of its Bridport store.