THE founder of a city centre leather shop has vowed he will try to save 13 jobs in the city after his business was put into administration.

Richard Standring has spoken out about his devastation at being forced to put his 50-year-old family business Lakeland Leather into administration last week.

He has now promised to do everything he can to save the 18 stores and 200 jobs nationwide, which are now at risk of permanent closure.

On Friday, June 13 the administrators McTear Williams & Wood closed four stores in K-Village in Kendal, Spalding, Gloucester and Antrim in Northern Ireland, with the loss of 20 jobs.

The remaining 18 stores, including York's Stonegate shop, and more than 200 jobs are under threat if the business cannot be saved.

Mr Standring said: "We've had a lot of tears in the stores. So many customers have long relationships with us that they feel part of the family.

"We're asking them to keep their fingers crossed for us. We're not giving up. We hope to save the remaining stores and save Lakeland Leather.

"The pressure on the family has been immense in the past few years. The odds seem stacked against us.

"We just about survived the depths of the recession but it left the business weak and in debt.

"Then last winter the weather was really mild so sales of our leather jackets and coats were down. It tipped us over the edge."

Closing down sales have started across the estate in order to liquidate stocks to settle creditor claims.

It is hoped that heavy discounting across all leather goods and summer fashion lines will help keep the stores trading until the business is rescued.