The fight is on to save House of Fraser in Epsom after its planned closure was announced.

The store is one of 31 earmarked to stay open until early 2019, as part of a “rescue plan” to save the company following falling sales.

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council has said it will try to keep the shop in The Ashley Centre, where it has been since May 1984.

Councillor Eber Kington, chairman of Strategy and Resources, said: “This is very disappointing for the town centre, and we will work with anyone who has access to the decision makers controlling the company to see if we can bring about a change of heart.

“If the closure does go ahead, we will want to attract a successful quality brand name to the Ashley Centre so that our residents continue to have a great shopping experience in their home town.”

The council will speak to The Ashley Centre management and the new Epsom Business Improvement District to ensure the space is filled quickly, if the store closes.

Epsom and Ewell MP Chris Grayling expressed similar feelings to the council, saying: "This is very disappointing news for Epsom.

“I will be working with the owners of The Ashley Centre and the local council to persuade House of Fraser to change its mind, and if we can’t, to persuade another retailer to take this place."

The welfare of the current staff is also of high concern, and the council will look for reassurances from House of Fraser that “appropriate support” will be available for them to find new jobs.

A spokesman for House of Fraser said: "House of Fraser’s store in Epsom is among the 31 sites that has been identified for closure. All 102 staff members employed directly by the company or its concessions have been notified and will be supported throughout this process."