SOUTHEND has escaped a double blow as Santander announced plans to close its High Street branch but the town’s Patisserie Valerie appears to have been saved.

The bank branch is due to close in November while the cake chain has collapsed into administration, putting almost 3,000 jobs at risk across the UK.

Patisserie Valerie – which has suffered the effects of an investigation into the “devastating” extent of “irregularities” in its books, which allegedly included thousands of false entries into the company’s ledgers – has cafés in Southend, Lakeside and Basildon.

Consultants KPMG have been appointed as administrators and yesterday announced 71 closures, which included the Debenhams concession, in Basildon’s Eastgate Centre.

Both standalone outlets in Southend and Lakeside appear to be safe.

A spokesman for Santander said a “comprehensive internal review” was undertaken before opting to close the Southend bank branch.

He added: “As a result of our assessment and following careful consideration, we have taken the difficult decision to close Southend High Street branch on November 7, 2019.”

But the Southend branch is not the only one facing the axe.

Bosses have also opted to close the branch in London Road, Hadleigh, as early as May.

The move will represent as a blow to the town and comes less than a year after rival Barclays announced plans to close its Hadleigh branch, which prompted fury from customers.

Patisserie Valerie bosses have extended an unsecured, interestfree loan to help ensure January wages are paid to all staff working in the ongoing business.

The loan will also assist the administrators in trading as many profitable stores as possible while a sale process is undertaken.

Last week, Patisserie revealed KPMG had been hired to carry out a review of all options following the accounting scandal which pushed it close to collapse last year.