British retailers Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home, owned by businessman Philip Day's EWM Group, have been rescued and sold to a consortium of international investors, saving 1,453 jobs and 246 stores.

Purepay, a secured creditor to the businesses backed by the consortium, has bought all the remaining stock, as well as the head office site and distribution centre in Carlisle.

It will operate the stores under licence from both brands.

However, 85 Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores and 34 Ponden Home stores have been permanently closed, leading to the loss of 485 jobs.

"With such little visibility on future trading conditions in UK retail, we regret that not all of Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home could be rescued," joint administrator Tony Wright said.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hammered the already struggling British retail sector, pushing players such as Laura Ashley, Debenhams, Oasis Warehouse and Cath Kidston into administration, and resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs.

EWM, which also owns Peacocks and Jaeger, went into administration last year, putting 24,000 jobs at risk