The Next fashion chain is pulling out of Slough and Maidenhead - in a double whammy that has hit both towns hard.

The store has been part of Nicholsons Shopping Centre in Maidenhead for the last 15 years and will not be renewing its lease when it expires in October.

A statement posted on Nicholsons Shopping Centre’s Facebook page says: “It will be sad to see Next leave Maidenhead. However, after a successful 2016, when four new stores opened including H&M, Smiggle, Pandora and Grape Tree it is clear that retailers are still keen to come to Maidenhead."

Ginette Gower, head of marketing and communications at Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, said: "We are sorry to hear that Next has made the decision to close its store in Maidenhead. There have been other examples of this happening and we hope first of all, that the staff are helped to find jobs in other stores."

Next has also confirmed its store in the Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre will close in the autumn.

The departure comes on top of BHS, Topshop and River Island leaving last year.

The retailer said the shop is to shut as the store is at the end of its lease and discussions are currently being held with its staff.

Next says customers at the two closing shops will be serviced by its store on the Bath Road Retail Park in Slough.

Shoppers in Windsor need not fear though. A spokesman for Next said there were no plans to close the store in King Edward Court - which will come as a relief after the shock news that Fenwick is moving out.

At a meeting of Windsor Town Forum on Wednesday, the Royal Borough's property service manager Rob Large spoke out to dispel rumours that the Fenwicks site would be turned into flats. He insisted that the key site at King Edward Court would remain strictly retail.