VIDEO: Protesters hit out at plans to close Sheffield job centre which will 'impact on more than 1000 people'

A public protest has been staged this afternoon over plans to close a job centre in one of Sheffield's most deprived neighbourhoods which could impact on more than 1000 job seekers.

The Jobcentre in Eastern Avenue, Manor Top, is one of 78 across the country earmarked for closure by the department for work and pensions to cut costs.

Protesters in Sheffield city centre.

Protesters in Sheffield city centre.

Campaigners battling to save the Jobcentre, which they say is used by more than 1,100 people a week, warned claimants would struggle to access other centres, meaning they could lose out on benefits or find it harder to access support to get back into work.

They gathered to voice their concerns and display banners outside the Jobcentre Plus in Hartshead Square, Sheffield city centre, at 12.30pm today.

Manor resident Alistair Tice, aged 61, a member of the Unite Community union, said: "It is going to have a big effect. People will be paying to get in and out of the city centre, buses might be late, which means they miss appointments and then they could face sanctions and losing money."

This latest move comes after Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh launched an online petition to stop the closure, which has been signed by more than 130 people.

She said it was "shameful" the Government had announced proposals to close the centre without conducting an impact assessment.

As part of the plans the workload at the under threat centre would be taken on at two Jobcentres in the city, at Cavendish Court, about three miles away, and Bailey Court, 3.6 miles away.

The DWP said 75 centre staff will be offered a transfer to another Jobcentre. It has also offered to reimburse job-seekers' travel costs if they need to attend more often than the fortnightly visit required to sign on, and is planning to provide a part-time 'work coach' to offer advice in the community.

The DWP's month-long consultation period is due to end tomorrow at 5pm.