A NORTH Essex business is owed more than £450,000 by collapsed retailer Wilko, it has been revealed.

A statement of affairs submitted to Companies House confirms wholesaler Propet, based in Plough Road, Great Bentley, is owed £452,047 by the defunct retail chain.

The Austrian pet food wholesaler’s UK operation has been registered in Great Bentley since 2008.

Colchester Business Against Crime (Colbac), a non-profit partnership which works to ensure the city centre is a safe place to work and shop, is also owed £200 by Wilko.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Farewell - staff at the Clacton store said goodbye to each otherFarewell - staff at the Clacton store said goodbye to each other (Image: Counter Crime Partnership)

Another 12 businesses across Essex are owed money by Wilko, with the total debt owed to the county’s firms totalling more than £1.25million.

Documents released by Wilko’s administrators reveal the budget retail chain, which sold homeware and household goods, owes an eye-watering £157,261,588 to its creditors.

What happened to Wilko?

Hundreds of businesses are owed money by the collapsed company which closed its final stores last week after 93 years on the high street.

Administrators at PwC were forced to sell off Wilko’s assets after failing to secure a rescue deal.

The closure of its Clacton store, in Station Road, in September, was followed by a final day of trading in St John’s Walk, Colchester, last Tuesday.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Closed - Wilko's Colchester storeClosed - Wilko's Colchester store (Image: Newsquest)

The closing day saw the prices of remaining stock slashed by 80 per cent across the store, with some staff members taking to the street later in the afternoon to tell passersby prices would be slashed by a further ten per cent.

Wilko’s demise placed more than 12,000 jobs at risk, with documents prepared by PwC suggesting more than £5.5million is owed to the firm’s employees.

A member of staff from the Colchester store told the Gazette she was “very emotional” about the closure of the store.

More than 420,000 jobs in the retail industry have been lost since 2010, sparking fears that the high street may be in “terminal decline”, according to the GMB union.

Its national officer Andy Prendergast said: “These shocking figures are a wake-up call that Wilko was not the first, and it will not be the last.”

Propet, Colbac, and PwC were approached for comment by the Gazette.