JOB losses at a firm that has been a part of Carlisle’s retail scene since 1972 have been described as “deeply saddening”.

Council leaders expressed their grief following the news that Edinburgh Woollen Mill had collapsed into administration.

Paul Nedved, portfolio holder for economy, enterprise and housing with the city council, said: “It’s devastating news. It’s such a strong brand and such local connections here. We will feel it badly.

“All the job losses nationwide and at Carlisle, Penrith and Keswick are deeply saddening.”

Ponden Home – another of the EWM Group’s brands – also went into administration last week and across the two companies 866 jobs have been lost, with more than 2,000 at risk.

Carlisle’s EWM, in English Street, was its first store to be opened south of the Border. A distribution centre has been based at Kingmoor Park since 2002, and in 2018 EWM Group moved its headquarters to Castle Street in the city.

City council leader John Mallinson said the implications for the city were “very worrying”.

“My big fear is that Edinburgh Woollen Mill is not going to be the last,” he said.

Tony Wright and Alastair Massey at FRP were appointed as Joint Administrators last week.

Mr Wright said the impact of Covid-19 on the brands’ core customer base and trading restrictions meant “the current structure of the businesses is unsustainable and has resulted in redundancies”.

EWM Group itself and its other subsidiaries, including Jaeger and Peacocks, are not part of the administration.

Bosses have been granted another High Court extension - until October 20 - to avoid administration, allowing for possible rescue deals to be secured.