PORTLAND’s Travis Perkins has closed with the loss of one part-time position.

The builder’s merchant opened an island branch at Southwell Business Park several years ago. A spokesman for Travis Perkins confirmed the closure and said that: “The reason behind the closure was volume from the local market. There was greater demand for a consolidation of the service, products and distribution through the established and popular Weymouth branch.

“We believe consolidating the distribution and the branches will give customers access to a more extensive portfolio of products. The experienced manager from Portland, and his assistant branch manager, will be joining the Weymouth team to strengthen the offering to customers. Regrettably, one part-time position will be lost.”

Mayor of Portland Rob Hughes, pictured, said: “It’s a great loss for builders, joiners, decorators and other tradesmen left on the island.

“You would think that with new housing developments and the new IPACA campus near the business park they would get more trade, so it’s a shame they didn’t feel there was anything there for them. I don’t think anyone down here is feeling the benefits of the supposed economy growth yet.”

One of the company’s regular customers Brian McDonald, 64, a Portland joiner, said he was surprised by the decision and thinks the move to Weymouth will have a detrimental impact for tradesman on the island.

“I’ve had to book in for delivery from Weymouth before and it took a week, whereas the Portland branch would deliver on the same day no problem.

“It’s sad more than anything because those guys have really worked to make it pay,” he said.