Up to 300 threatened jobs at the Marks and Spencer's Warrington-based call centre are to be saved following a multi-million pound takeover of its home shopping service.

Customer management specialist Vertex is to take over part of the mail order catalogue business - securing 300 jobs at the Woolston Grange site.

Marks and Spencer announced in March it was closing the call centre and axing 686 jobs following its decision to wind up the M&S Direct sales venture as part of major economies within the company.

Redundancies would have taken effect from July 9 - although some staff had already quit.

But now the agreement with Vertex means the home furnishings order service and other smaller services will be retained and continue to operate from Warrington.