WATERSTONE'S will close its doors for the final time in Poole next month.

The popular bookshop in Falkland Square has reached the end of its lease and will cease trading on February 27.

Despite Waterstone's wanting to remain in the town, it is reported that the landlord has chosen to grant the new lease to Greggs.

However, when approached by the Daily Echo, a spokesperson for Greggs said: “Greggs is always looking into new shop locations, while we are unable to confirm anything at the moment, we will be sure to share any information in due course.”

Waterstone's is actively looking for a new store location in Poole town centre.

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A spokesperson for Waterstone's said: “Unfortunately, with the lease of our Poole shop ending, the landlord has chosen to grant the new lease to another tenant, Greggs.

“We regret very much to lose the shop after such a long time of successful book selling in the town.

“We have yet to identify a suitable alternative shop but remain confident that one can be found.

“We have bookshops in Bournemouth town centre and in the Castlepoint Shopping Centre, and a little further afield in Ringwood.

“Until we find a new home in Poole, our booksellers will work in one of these shops, as we hope also our customers will come to buy their books.”

Commenting on the news, Poole Town councillor Mark Howell said: “It’s clearly better to have a bookshop in the town centre than it is to have an outlet selling what is essentially fast food.

“It’s important for people’s health and wellbeing and as well to have access to books - we don’t do enough reading in modern society and if book shops were to disappear then that’s just another step along the road to people not reading enough.

Cllr Howell continued: “The big picture for Poole is currently quite good - Poole has a number of strengths compared to other neighbouring shopping areas that means it’s an attractive place for people to have shops and hopefully it’ll go from strength to strength.”

Fellow ward councillor, Andy Hadley said: "It’s a great shame to lose Waterstones as the only bookshop in the town centre, sometimes its much easier to physically browse for books or have them ordered to store rather than to just buy online, and the staff are always very knowledgable.

"However, it’s a consequence of people favouring online retailers that don’t have the overheads of physical shops."

'Greggs wanted more space'

The lettings agent for the unit, Gerrard Matthews said: “Greggs wanted more space and the unit was on the market - there was a to let board on the property. We agreed a deal and there was only a short lease on Waterstone's which was there decision so no doubt they’ll look for somewhere else to move to.”

The Daily Echo also contacted Poole Town Councillors L-J Evans who declined to comment.

We also contacted deputy council leader and portfolio holder for development, growth and regeneration, Cllr Philip Broadhead.

NOTE: This article has been updated to include a comment from Cllr Andy Hadley, which was sent after the original article had gone to print.