Almost 600 jobs saved as city council step in to rescue historic department store

House of Fraser's new owners have announced that Manchester's Kendals store will no longer be closed in January, after a deal was struck with the landlord.

The future of Manchester's most recognisable department store, as well as 600 jobs, was cast into doubt in October when House of Fraser's new owner - Sports Direct billionaire Mike Ashley, who bought the 59-store group for £90m in August - failed to agree terms with the building's owners.

However, a new deal, helped through by Manchester City Council, has been reached and the historic store - which dates back to 1832 - has been saved.

When working together we can make a real difference to the high street

Council leader Sir Richard Leese called it "fantastic news" for the city. "I am proud that the council has been able to play a constructive role in saving a real Manchester icon and hundreds of jobs," he said.

Ashley said: “This demonstrates that when landlords, local authorities and retailers work together the outcomes can be outstanding. When working together we can make a real difference to the high street.”

The move by Ashley comes days before he is due to appear in front of a government committee to discuss a plan to save the nation's high streets.

Read here for a history of Kendals by Confidential's Jonathan Schofield.