The administrators for Laura Ashley has made 148 staff redundant as they struggle to find a buyer for the business.

While the brand name was acquired by American investors last month, the rest of the group – including two factories in Newtown – remain in administration.

Now PwC have said it has not been possible to find a buyer yet, and have made 148 staff redundant in its head office and back office functions.

The company has not said whether any of these redundancies affect Newtown, where the Texplan factory reopened last month to make scrubs for frontline NHS workers.

Rob Lewis, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: “It is with real regret that we have to announce redundancies at what is already a challenging time for individuals dealing with Covid-19 disruption. We will, of course, provide all affected staff with the necessary support, which will include working with various agencies and employers who have vacancies.”

“The company is continuing to trade. We still believe there is value in the group and we remain focused on doing all we can to preserve the remaining business while we try to achieve a sale.”

Since the sale of the brand to Gordon Brothers, PwC says it has been closely with management, employees and interested parties to explore a sale of the UK operations as a going concern.

The joint administrators remain open to interest in the business, but said it was "not viable" to keep all employees due to the financial position of the business.

All staff affected have been informed and will be paid up to and including their last day of employment.

All Laura Ashley stores have been closed since March 24 in line with government restrictions. The administrators continue to trade the e-commerce business and prepare for all stores to reopen once permitted to do so, to sell through the stock on hand.