Royal Worcester, one of the region’s best known heritage brands, has gone into administration after failing to find a buyer.

Royal Worcester and Spode, which only last year secured a £16 million debt refinancing package to enable it to complete a company restructure, had called in KPMG to assist in the sale of the company but no buyer could be found.

A spokesman for Royal Worcester said failure to sell a key asset had hastened the company’s demise.

He said: “The company has been undertaking a restructuring of business in recent years. This has included more cost effective outsourcing of production, relocation of warehouses, new product development and the sale of property to reduce debt.

“However, the inability to complete a proposed sale of a site of strategic importance in Stoke and the effect of the current economic downturn has led to the decision to take the company into administration.”

The firm, which operates from two freehold premises in Stoke and Worcester and two leasehold units at Lymedale, employs 388 people in the UK.