MOST Debenhams stores in Yorkshire and the North East have escaped closure as part of the struggling High Street giant’s battle with insolvency.

Only one store – in Stockton – was named on the hit list of 22 towns and cities that will see the famous retailer exit their High Street early next year.

All other Yorkshire and the North East store locations have escaped the swing of the insolvency axe – for now.

These include Leeds, Bradford, York, Sheffield, York, Wakefield, Scarborough, Doncaster, Beverley, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Shields, Sunderland, and Middlesbrough.

However, such is scale of the insolvency fight, Debenhams warned that a further 28 of its worst-performing stores were also in jeopardy.

The announcement of the second phase of closures is therefore waited with bated breath by shoppers and staff across Yorkshire and the North East.

Insolvency analysts predicted that the first-round closure of 22 stores nationwide would put 1,200 jobs at risk, as Debenhams was left with little option but to restructure in the face of growing insolvency fears.

Debenhams, which employs 25,000 people, was taken over by its lenders a fortnight ago in a pre-pack administration process.

Its new owners, who are a consortium of banks and hedge funds, are launching the major store-closure programme via an insolvency process known as a Company Voluntary Agreement  (CVA).

A growing number of High Street retailers, struggling in the insolvency zone as sales increasingly shift online, are using CVAs to scale back their presence and reduce rent bills to stave off insolvency.

Considered a last resort for ailing chains, the plan must be signed off by landlords and other creditors.

The full casualty list of Debenhams stores includes: Altrincham, Ashford, Birmingham Fort, Canterbury, Chatham, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Great Yarmouth, Guildford, Kirkcaldy, Orpington, Slough, Southport, Southsea, Staines, Stockton, Walton, Wandsworth, Welwyn Garden City, Wimbledon, Witney and Wolverhampton.

For more information about the work of our licensed insolvency practitioners and businesses recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email confidential@walshtaylor.co.uk

Mary Taylor
Director

Mary began working in insolvency for a national accountancy practice in Glasgow thirty years ago and worked in most divisions of the insolvency department.

She then moved to a smaller firm so she could advance her knowledge on a more hands on basis. She moved back to Leeds in 1987 and commenced working with a small firm of accountants and subsequently made partner.

She left in 1999 to set up her own practice, McCann Taylor.
McCann Taylor became involved with the consumer market both in England and Scotland.

Mary sold McCann Taylor in March 2007 and formed Walsh Taylor to concentrate on helping businesses experiencing financial difficulties.

Kate Ellis (neé Breese)
Insolvency Practitioner

Kate has worked in insolvency since 2001 starting out at a firm of solicitors in Leeds and latterly gaining positions within two national accountancy firms.

During this time Kate gained extensive experience in all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, for the first part of her career specializing in personal insolvency and latterly corporate.

Kate has been with Walsh Taylor since its incorporation in September 2008.

Kate is CPI and JIEB qualified, is experienced in a variety of industries and sectors and is the firm’s joint appointment taker.

Meg Heath
Director

Meg has a background in supporting SMEs, including the raising of finance and advising on organisational change. She is a non-executive director of companies in the private and third sector, including Walsh Taylor.

Previously she was Deputy Fund Director of one of the largest CDFIs in the UK, and has experience of the social enterprise, charity and private sectors. Her experience of assisting companies to survive and thrive has been gained across a broad range of sectors and in companies of all sizes.

In addition to her work at Walsh Taylor she works for other private companies, including non-executive and trustee positions.

Emma Mifsud
Insolvency Practitioner

After graduating from Leeds University in 2005 with a BA Hons degree in Criminology, Emma worked for a regional law firm in both the property department and insolvency and banking department. Whilst doing so Emma gained a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP University.

Emma then joined a national accountancy firm in 2009 gaining experience in personal insolvency before moving to a Leeds based firm. At this firm Emma specialised in bankruptcies, IVA’s and negotiating informal agreements with creditors. In 2013 Emma gained her CPI qualification.

Since joining the firm in December 2013, Emma has taken on a portfolio of personal and corporate insolvency cases to extend her knowledge and expertise in all areas of insolvency.

In December 2017 Emma become a licensed appointment taker under the Insolvency Practitioners Association, she is JIEB qualified.

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