Tristan Samuels, Portsmouth City Council's director of regeneration said: "We're very disappointed to learn of Debenhams's plans to close their Southsea store in early 2020, which will have an impact on jobs and the retail offer in the south of the city.

 "We have had positive and productive initial conversations with the freehold owners to explore options for the future, and welcome detailed proposals from them over the coming months.

 "We know that our high streets are changing and are committed to securing a vibrant future for them by working with retailers across all of the city's shopping areas. We are currently working on bids for government funding through the Future High Streets Fund. We are also working closely with retailers in Southsea, as well as considering alternative solutions in both the community and cultural sectors to reinvigorate the area.

 "We want to work closely with all businesses in the city and anyone who has any concerns or ideas for improvements that could be made should email business@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

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