A major car sales firm which employs hundreds of people across Cumbria and south west Scotland is in financial turmoil.

Border Cars has branches in Carlisle and Workington, and at three other sites in Scotland including Dumfries. According to its social media profile, Border Cars employs more than 300 people across its five branches.

Its senior managers have confirmed it is now facing an uncertain future.

An email seen by in-Cumbria's sister title, the News & Star, sent to Border Cars employees on behalf of the company’s owners states: “As I am sure you are now all aware, Border Cars has recently suffered issues with cash flow.”

“We are not currently in administration, however it may [have] to happen soon.”

A spokesman for Companies House confirmed that it has “received no filings to place [Border Cars] into administration”.

The firm’s email, sent on Friday afternoon on behalf of company founder and director Mike Fusco and managing director Aaron Jameson, explained: “We had a plan to sell the Carlisle and Workington branches to other dealers which would keep everyone in England within jobs under new employers.

“We had buyers lined up, but unfortunately discussions between them and the franchises did not go to plan, and the sales did not go through.

“We are working with an accountancy firm who are providing advice on everything at the moment.

“We are going to be holding a flash sale (or closing down sale) of all stock which will allow us to build up the funds to pay off any outstanding customers’ settlements.

“Any staff wages, holiday pay and redundancy will most likely go through the government, however as soon as we have more information on that you will be informed.

“We understand that everyone will have a lot of questions, however at the moment this is as much as we know.

“We will update you as soon as [we] have anything more.”

The News & Star understands that the franchise companies partnered with Border Cars have now removed their stock from Border Cars’ Carlisle branches.

An employee who wanted to stay anonymous told The News & Star that staff had been warned that “things weren’t looking good”.

“But we’ve not been told that we’ve officially lost our jobs,” they continued.

“It’s awful for the staff, because we’ve been left hanging on and we really don’t know what’s happening.

“It’s a horrible situation to be in for any of us. A lot of my colleagues have been there for years.

“I love my job, I love the people I work with. We’re like a little family.”

In a statement reported yesterday, a Border Cars spokesman said: “We understand this is an uncertain and difficult time for our employees, and we are doing our utmost to preserve jobs where at all possible.”