NINE jobs have been lost as the Gabbotts Farm shop in St Helens town centre closed its doors.

A notice is in place outside the premises at St Mary's Market announcing the closure which is one of 35 stores which has been shut across the North West and Midlands by meat retailer Crawshaws.

The retailer, which has entered administration, has also closed one distribution centre in Astley and axed 354 jobs in total.

Last month, the South Yorkshire-based meat retailer said it was attempting to raise equity to restore growth and profitability.

However, Crawshaws later announced that it did not have "sufficient cash resources" to carry out a restructuring.

But administrators EY say that 19 "profitable" stores would continue to operate.

Administrator Hunter Kelly said: "Despite the new management team's best efforts, it was not possible to raise additional investment to restructure the business by reducing the number of high street stores and expanding its successful factory shop format and in-store SPAR butchery offering.

"As a result the group would have run out of cash due to the loss making high street stores and therefore administration was necessary.

"It is with regret that 354 people have been made redundant.

"We hope to conclude a sale to preserve the remaining 261 jobs."

It has been confirmed nine jobs have been axed by the St Helens closure.