THE DECISION of Homebase not to close two North Wales stores shows great confidence in the region, senior councillors have said.

Earlier this week the Leader reported how Homebase was set to press ahead with a wave of store closures that will see 42 DIY outlets shut, putting around 1,500 jobs at risk, but their stores in Wrexham and Mold will remain trading.

Cllr Derek Butler, Flintshire Council's cabinet member for economic development, said: "It is a boost and a vote of confidence in Mold's retail offer because obviously there are jobs at stake around the country.

"We are doing the best we can with all of our towns with the limited resources we have, but Mold is doing better than some others and it has an identity with its events such as the food festival."

Councillor Terry Evans, Wrexham Council's lead member for economy - economic development and regeneration, told the Leader: "It is very worrying to see these big names closing down in towns across the country.

"But this shows good confidence in Wrexham and let's hope they are there for a long time."

Cllr Evans added the news was very reassuring for those working at the store and he felt the reason Homebase decided to remain in Wrexham is likely the firm's loyal customer base in the area.

The retailer is closing the stores via a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), a controversial insolvency procedure used by struggling firms to shut under-performing shops.

Restructuring experts at Alvarez and Marsal will carry out the CVA, which will require the support of landlords.

A total of 16 Homebase stores have been shut this year and the business has also axed 303 jobs at its head office in Milton Keynes.