HOPES that Birkenhead's House of Fraser had been spared from the axe appear to have vanished after “closing down” signs went up at the store.

It is believed staff at the Grange Road West branch have been given a closing date of September 27.

Last year creditors had voted to shut Birkenhead's House of Fraser.

But after a campaign from the town's MP Frank Field and a takeover by Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, the store appeared to have been saved and its future supposedly secured.

Mr Field, who has been left shocked at the news, is now calling for an urgent meeting with Mr Ashley to 'exhaust all potential options' to keep the store open.

In a letter to Mr Ashley, he said: "I am writing to you regarding the House of Fraser store in Birkenhead.

Wirral Globe:

One of the notices on the shopfront

"The town was given a huge lift last year when you extended the life of the store and, from what I can tell, footfall has increased since then.

"However, this week, the store’s windows have been blanked out with ‘Closing Down Sale’ posters. I understand staff have been given a closing date of 27 September.

"Might I please seek an urgent meeting with you, to exhaust all potential options for keeping the store open? To take one example, several regular customers have told me that lessons could be applied from the reduction in size of the menswear department, and its replacement with a sportswear department which was not well advertised to potential customers.

"I very much hope we can speak soon as I remain anxious for this great institution to retain a presence in the heart of Birkenhead."