EIGHT Aulds shops have been saved from closure - with half of them in Inverclyde.

The company has announced that a total of 75 jobs will also be spared across a newly-restructured retail business and at the Greenock headquarters.

Shops in Brisbane Street, the Oak Mall, West Stewart Street and in Gourock's Kempock Street will all remain open as well as the stores in Largs, Johnstone, Paisley's Piazza and St Enoch, Glasgow.

It was feared Aulds, which was founded in 1900, would disappear from the high street completely after bosses placed the loss-making retail division into liquidation at the start of August, blaming its demise on a drop in financial performance and increasing ingredient, distribution and wage costs over several years.

Some 180 employees over 26 stores and the head office retail team were at risk of redundancy.

The old retail arm, Thomas Auld & Sons Limited, formally shut down on Wednesday and a new company has been formed to take over the eight remaining shops and 75 staff.

Alan Marr, managing director of Aulds and a fourth-generation descendent of founder Thomas Auld, said: "It goes without saying that we deeply regret the jobs lost and do not underestimate the impact that will have on the individuals involved and their families.

"We only embarked on this course of action after exhausting every other possibility, but we were simply unable to sustain the losses being made by the retail business.

"We're extremely pleased that we've been able to preserve 75 roles as part of this process and keep the Aulds brand on the high street.

"The response and support from our customers has been very encouraging and we'd like to thank them for their loyalty during a difficult period for our business."

The company, which was founded in 1900, will also continue to operate its two other subsidiaries - Aulds Bakeries Limited, which manufactures fresh and frozen bakery at the firm's Greenock site, and the Aulds Delicious Desserts manufacturing facility at Inchinnan.

A further 200 jobs at these sites are protected.

Joint liquidator Paul Dounis, from RSM Restructuring Advisory, said: "This deal represents the best deal for customers and creditors of Aulds, and we're grateful to staff and customers for their understanding over the last few weeks."

As part of the retail business turnaround plan, Aulds shops in Greenock's West Blackhall Street and Princes Street in Port Glasgow town centre were among the casualties.

In its latest set of financial accounts, the company reported a £200,000 rise in turnover to £15.4 million for the year to April 1, 2017 but made loss of £430,000.