HEREFORDSHIRE jobs are at risk after convenience chain McColl's announced it has gone bust.

It was reported earlier today that Morrisons had tabled a last-minute rescue deal to save the struggling convenience store business.

The chain, which has shops in Hereford and Bromyard, had previously confirmed on Thursday that it was looking “increasingly likely” it could tumble into administration, putting the future of 1,100 shops and 16,000 employees at risk.

The PA news agency said it understood earlier today that Morrisons had approached PriceWaterhouseCoopers, who were advising lenders to McColl’s.

A hoped-for rescue deal would have taken on the business as a going concern, absorb its debts of over £100 million and take responsibility for the company’s pension scheme.

The two businesses are major partners, with McColl’s operating hundreds of convenience shops under the Morrisons Daily brand, including the Bromyard 'Top Shop'.

However, McColl’s has struggled financially in recent years after witnessing soaring costs due to supply chain disruption, inflation and its large debt burden.

But, in an announcement made this afternoon, McColl’s said discussions with its lenders collapsed on Friday as creditors refused to extend a deadline for the retailer to find more cash.

The company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange: “In order to protect creditors, preserve the future of the business and to protect the interests of employees, the board was regrettably therefore left with no choice other than to place the company in administration, appointing PriceWaterhouseCoopers as administrators, in the expectation that they intend to implement a sale of the business to a third-party purchaser as soon as possible.”

McColl’s will apply to the court later today to appoint the administrators.

Shares on the stock market have been suspended.