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Norwich MP Clive Lewis calls for UEA Boots store to reopen

Boots confirmed the closure of its University of East Anglia (UEA) branch, in the medical centre near the Bluebell Road entrance to campus, at the end of July. 

Norwich Evening News: The Boots pharmacy, just off Bluebell RoadThe Boots pharmacy, just off Bluebell Road (Image: Google Maps)

The decision, which came as part of the company’s bid to consolidate shops in close proximity to each other, has received backlash from both members of the public and students – leaving Dereham Road, Eaton or Longwater as the closes Boots shops.

“Many concerned local residents and students have contacted me about this,” said Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. 

“Alternative pharmacies will be challenging to get to for many people, especially those without cars. 

Norwich Evening News: Norwich South MP Clive Lewis outside the Boots pharmacy off Bluebell RoadNorwich South MP Clive Lewis outside the Boots pharmacy off Bluebell Road (Image: Office of Clive Lewis)

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“Working with local communities, I will continue to do whatever I can to stem the relentless creation of ‘pharmacy deserts’ across our city.”

It is understood Mr Lewis is meeting with officers from the university’s Student Union – including welfare officer Nathan Wyatt – to jointly campaign for the reopening of the Boots pharmacy.

Mr Wyatt told this newspaper last month: “We were disappointed with the recent news that Boots is leaving campus.

“Our concern about the closure is the impact it will have on students who live on campus for large parts of the year.

Norwich Evening News: Nathan Wyatt, welfare, community, and diversity officer at the UEANathan Wyatt, welfare, community, and diversity officer at the UEA (Image: UEA)

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“We are going to talk to UEA about this and see what options are available for students to access healthcare going forwards.”

Boots will be shutting a total of 300 shops in the UK that are within a few miles of other branches, but said that the closures will not lead to any redundancies.

A UEA spokeswoman said: “Our students have been informed about the closure of Boots’ pharmacy and made aware of alternative suitable options.”

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