Coronavirus updates: £60m renovation continues; Chiquitos and BrightHouse hit; QD temporarily shuts


Queensgate is going to look completely different (photo: Queensgate)

Despite a country-wide lockdown, the work at the shopping centre is still going ahead for the time being. 

With plans to build a cinema while introducing a new wave of retail stores and restaurants, it's going to take some time before the work on Queensgate is completely finished. 

The renovations should finish in late 2021. 

Chiquito's is to close across the UK, with around 1,500 jobs being affected.including those at the tex-mex restaurant in Hampton.

The Restaurant Group also owns Wagamama and Frankie & Benny's.

Meanwhile rent-to-own company BrightHouse has collapsed today, with the coronavirus being blamed for its downturn.

Administrators Grant Thornton are looking to salvage what they can from the company, which has a branch on Broadway and 2,400 employees whose jobs will now be at risk.

Customers have been advised to continue to make the monthly payments required to keep their household goods, with collections to be overseen by administrators.

The company had already been hit by a series of compensation claims for selling to people who could not repay, before its 240 shops were then closed as part of the coronavirus restrictions on retailers.

Value retailer QD – has confirmed that all its stores are to be temporarily closed from Monday as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. However, online sales will remain available.

The chain has a store in Ortongate Shopping Centre and group chief executive, Nick Rubins, said: “We would like to thank our amazing staff who have done an incredible job in providing our communities with the products they needed, when they needed them most.

“We have supplied hundreds of thousands of toilet rolls, food galore from pasta to strawberry jam, pet food for our four-legged friends and countless bottles of cleaning products!

“However, it has come to a point where the wellbeing of our colleagues and customers is more important than anything else. As the Covid-19 infection rates multiply and the strain on the NHS increases, it is with a heavy heart that we have made the very difficult decision to temporarily close all of our stores, despite our classification as an essential retailer.

He continued: “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone at the QD Group who have been outstanding during this exceptionally tough time and to each and every one of our customers for their continued support. We will be back serving our communities as soon as we safely can!”