RESTAURANT chain Pizza Express which has premises in Chester city centre and at Cheshire Oaks is reportedly planning to axe around 75 UK sites as part of a rescue deal that could put hundreds of jobs at risk.

The group is working on a restructuring to weather the coronavirus crisis, which is set to see it hold talks with landlords to shed hard-hit eateries and slash rents, according to Sky News.

It is understood the final number of its 490 UK and Ireland restaurants under threat of closure will depend on these talks as part of the so-called company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The chain has a restaurant on St John Street in Chester as well as an eatery at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet in Ellesmere Port.

Pizza Express also has sites overseas and is thought to employ around 8,000 people in the UK.