DEBENHAMS in Witney will shut next year as part of the company's first wave of store closures.

The branch, on Marriott's Walk, is one of 22 stores that will close after the high street giant went into administration earlier this month.

Oxford's Debenhams store, on George Street, has temporarily survived the chop, although about 50 branches are set to close over the next three years in total.

Up to 1,200 jobs are on the line across the country following the announcement from company bosses.

Read again: Can Debenhams in Oxford survive? Shoppers have their say

The store is within the ward of Andrew Coles, West Oxfordshire district councillor for Witney Central.

He said: "I'm desperately saddened to hear that Debenhams is closing, as a regular customer myself I know what a blow it will be to shoppers and my thoughts are very much with the local people currently employed there.

"Our High Streets, and the local economy generally, are really struggling.

"You only need to look at the number of shops and businesses that have closed recently.

"Our much-valued independents are having an especially difficult time."

Read again: What's changing in Oxford city centre?

Debenhams bosses have taken out a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) that will see the 22 stores close.

A CVA allows a struggling retailer to restructure so it can pay off debts without folding. This often involves closing its 'underperforming' stores.

The Witney branch was unavailable to comment.