HUNDREDS of jobs at a Wellington-based factory are safe after parent-company Steinhoff International faced an accounting irregularities scandal.

Relyon and Pritex, a mattress manufacturer which employ hundreds of people at Station Mills, Wellington, has confirm that its long-term future has been secured thanks to a multi-million pound loan facility negotiated in the fall-out of the scandal.

Pepkor Europe, owned by Steinhoff International, has arranged the two-year loan which will allow planned investment into the manufacturing and retail side of Steinhoff’s UK businesses to be maintained.

UK manufacturing chief finance officer, Alan Chapman, said: “The trading strength of the UK businesses and Pepkor Europe has meant that we have been able to quickly develop new financing arrangements which mean we are not now dependent on working capital support from our ultimate parent company Steinhoff International NV.”

Steinhoff was plunged into crisis last month after revelations of accounting irregularities linked to its 2016 accounts, although the group said the issues could run even further back.

The initial disclosure triggered a share price collapse, a management overhaul, lenders deserting the firm and credit insurance being withdrawn from its operating companies.

A further statement from the Steinhoff UK Manufacturing and Retail Business said: “The new finance facility will be used to support the future growth of the retail manufacturing divisions, with factories in Wellington, Taunton, Bridgend and Huntingdon.

"This independent facility provides long-term stability to the manufacturing and retail businesses within Steinhoff UK.”

As well as Relyon and Pritex, Steinhoff International owns familiar high street names Harveys and Bensons for Beds, along with Steinhoff UK Beds and Steinhoff UK Upholstery.

Bensons for Beds has factories based in Taunton, Bridgend and Huntingdon.

Stuart Machin, group chief executive of Harveys and Bensons for Beds, said: "Harveys, Bensons for Beds and our manufacturing businesses have always been run independently and for British customers.

"This new finance facility will allow us to continue to build on the progress we've made in the last few months."

Mr Machin said that both brands had a good Christmas.

He added: "We face the new year with new confidence, focused on delivering great customer service and stylish, quality products at great value prices, executing our transformation plan for Harveys and continuing with our plans to manufacture even more of our great products in the UK."