A last-minute deal to save Wilko has fallen through, reports have claimed.

The GMB union has said that the only bid to buy the entirety of collapsed retailer Wilko has fallen through and that staff redundancies are due to start next week.

Bolton’s Deansgate branch of the high street retailer is one of hundreds of branches around the country threatened with closures after the company went into administration in August.

Now a deal which could have saved jobs for the next two years has failed after private equity firm M2 Capital was unable to provide proof of funding for a £90million bid by the deadline of 5pm on Wednesday August 30.

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi said: “I have continuing concern about the dragging out of this process.

“The workers I speak to need certainty, as this process has been very draining on them.”

The Bolton News: Wilko announced it was going into administration earlier in AugustWilko announced it was going into administration earlier in August (Image: Newsquest)

But the failure of the M2 Capital bid will come as a bitter blow to workers and customers who had hoped the historic company could still be saved.

As well as the town centre branch on Deansgate, Wilko has an outlet at Middlebrook Retail Park which is also under threat.

Around 12,500 jobs at more than 400 branches have been put at risk by the administration process.

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Job cuts had been suspended while M2 Capital made its bid last week, which included a pledge to retain jobs for the next two years.

But the GMB union, which represents Wilko workers, had warned that if the bidders failed to provide further details by the deadline, then job losses would likely continue the very next day.

A GMB statement on Wednesday said: “Although further details have been requested from the bidder, we have been informed that if these are not received by 5PM then there are no bids on the table that include either the DCS, distribution centres, or the support centre.

“If this is the case, then the redundancies which were paused yesterday are likely to be restarted tomorrow.”

As of Thursday, Wilko has said that 269 support centre staff have been made redundant after it could not secure a viable offer to buy the entire business.

Jane Steer, joint administrator at PwC, said: “It’s with great sadness that we announce these redundancies.

"We’re incredibly grateful to these team members for the support and dedication they’ve shown to the company, particularly over the last few very difficult weeks.

“We will continue to do all that we can to support staff through this period of difficult upheaval, and to maximise their opportunities for a rapid return to work.

“Our priority is to ensure that all team members affected by redundancy are assisted in processing their claims with immediate effect.

“We will be circulating correspondence to all staff as soon as possible which will outline the support available to complete redundancy payment forms.”