THE McColl’s newsagents at the heart of Ilminster’s town centre is set to close next month, it has been revealed.

However, the shock announcement will not affect weekly deliveries of the Chard and Ilminster News, and other newspapers, as another company has stepped in to take over the paper rounds.

McColl’s head office confirmed this week that the town’s branch would cease trading in the second week of October.

A spokesman for the neighbourhood newsagents company said: “Having explored all options, regretfully we have taken the difficult decision to cease trading at the McColl’s store on East Street in Ilminster.

“The store’s last day of trading will be Friday, October 11, 2019.

“We are saddened to no longer be operating the store and our priority has been to support all affected colleagues.”

Since the news broke, staff at Newsqueat - parent company of the News -have been working hard to ensure the townsfolk can still get their weekly edition of the Chard and Ilminster News.

Rob Stacey, the retail sales manager for Newsquest South West, said: “We at the Chard and Ilminster News understand that Chard News, the newsagents based on Fore Street, is expanding its home news delivery network.

“If you would like to continue getting newspaper delivered to your home, call Les Gilbert on 01460 66980.”

McColl’s has around 1,500 newsagents and convenience stores around the UK.

Last month, the McColl’s Retail Group posted like-for-like sales down and revenue down in the third quarter of 2019.

The company put this down to ‘a reduction in the store base as we continue to reshape and optimise the estate’.

McColl’s also revealed plans to open four new stores this quarter.