British retailer Debenhams has announced plans to close 22 stores next year as part of a restructuring scheme.

Once the biggest department store chain in the UK, Debenhams had been hit by a sharp slowdown in sales, high rents and ballooning debt.

The company fell into administration earlier this month.

The 11 stores in the Republic of Ireland are not affected by the proposals contained in a Company Voluntary Arrangement announced today.

A CVA is a legal process that allows a company to reach a compromise or settlement agreement with some or all of its creditors.

Under the plans all Debenhams stores are proposed to remain open during 2019.

Around 1,200 people work in the stores that are affected, and have been informed of the plans. The company has said efforts will be made to redeploy as many people as possible.

Further store closures will be "confirmed in due course", the company has said.