THE Debenhams store at The Rock will remain open until at least the end of 2019, the Bury Times understands.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that control of the department store chain had fallen into the hands of its lenders as part of a pre-pack administration process.

Debenhams has 165 stores, which will initially continue to trade, although about 50 branches have already been earmarked for closure in the future.

A list of which shops may shut has not yet been released, although it is understood that the chain is not planning to close any this year.

Debenhams employs about 25,000 people. As well as the planned closures, it has also been renegotiating rents with landlords to tackle its funding problems.

The department store rejected last-ditch rescue offers from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, which has been locked in an acrimonious battle for control,

Its lenders are made up of High Street banks and US hedge funds.

These include Barclays, Bank of Ireland, Silver Point and GoldenTree.

In February, it was revealed that the closure of 20 of the stores earmarked for closure could be brought forward if the retailer took out a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), a form of insolvency that can enable firms to seek rent cuts and close unwanted stores.

A pre-pack administration lets a company sell itself, or its assets, as a going concern, without affecting the operation of the business. Administrators take over the running of the business to protect creditors and shareholders lose their investments.