A FURTHER 21 jobs will go as off-licences are closed across the region.

First Quench Retailing, the parent company of the Threshers, Wine Rack and The Local chains, is closing after going into administration.

Joint administrator KPMG said there would be 1,908 redundancies in the 381 stores and a further 34 at the head office in Welwyn Garden City.

Six jobs will go at The Local, Ince Lane, Elton, while six will go at Wine Rack, Westminster Park, Chester. Wine Rack, Tarporley, will shed four employees, while The Local, Saltney, will see five redundancies. Elsewhere, Thresher Wine Shop, Winsford, and Wine Rack, Holmes Chapel, will go.

Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring at KPMG, said: “We are now in advanced talks regarding the sale of the business with a number of interested parties and have ascertained that parts of the portfolio, consisting of just over 500 stores, are of interest to these potential purchasers. These stores will continue to trade while we progress with our negotiations.

“Unfortunately, there has not been sufficient interest in these 381 stores as part of the going concern sale, so we have no option but to close them. However, we have had an enormous amount of interest in these sites from over 700 small local businesses and private individuals.”

The stores will close by December 16 and stock liquidation sales started on Tuesday.

The administrators had already announced the closure of 373 loss-making stores on November 5.

A total of 13 jobs were shed locally then, when Wine Rack, Long Lane, Upton (four jobs); Thresher, Faulkner Street, Hoole (four jobs); and Wine Rack, Main Street, Frodsham (five jobs) all shut up shop.