HOPES have been expressed for a sustainable future for Debenhams in Llandudno.

The store chain has been placed into administration and the retailer's lenders have seized control of the company.

Cllr David Hawkins, Mayor of Llandudno said: “Debenhams is really important to Llandudno. If it closes it will leave a massive hole in the town. It is quite a large retail apace to fill. I am really concerned for the future of the staff, most of whom I believe live in Llandudno, I hope they can keep their jobs. Whatever the solution is what we want is something that will be sustainable out into the future.”

North Wales Pioneer: Debenhams in Llandudno: Picture: Kerry RobertsDebenhams in Llandudno: Picture: Kerry Roberts

A rescue offer by Sports Direct had earlier been rejected. The last-minute rescue package promised to underwrite a £150 million rights issue, on the condition that Mike Ashley be made chief executive. In a statement to the market on Monday afternoon, Sports Direct said its proposal had been rebuffed.

Administrators have sold the group to a newly-incorporated company controlled by Debenhams' lenders, including hedge funds. as part of a pre-pack administration process. Under the new ownership, Debenhams will have access to £200 million in emergency funding. The move is expected to trigger store closures and job losses as part of a wider restructuring that will see around 50 outlets shut.

The announcement follows other threats to the town, including the closure of Greenwoods, Thomas Cook the travel agents being earmarked for closure, a question mark over the future of HMV and the possibility Marks & Spencer might move to a new site.