Pizza Express’ plans to close 73 restaurants have been approved by its creditors.

A sizeable 89% of its lenders voted for the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal.

A CVA allows a company with debt problems or that is insolvent to reach a voluntary agreement with its business creditors regarding repayment of all, or part of its corporate debts over an agreed period of time.

This should help to secure rent reductions and slash external debt from £735 million to £319 million.

It also allows £144 million in funds to be reinvested into future business operations.

These closures will have an impact on staff members though, putting 1,100 jobs at risk.

Pizza Express is shutting dozens of outlets permanently

See the full list of closing Pizza Express restaurants here.

In a statement, Pizza Express said: "The successful vote unlocks the company's ability to actively address the challenges brought by Covid-19, securing over 9,000 jobs in the UK.

"The directors of Pizza Express thank its creditors for their support during this period and look forward to ongoing partnership as the hospitality industry recovers to growth."

Last month, the restaurant chain's UK & Ireland managing director Zoe Bowley spoke about the closures.

She said said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic had led to some “incredibly tough decisions to safeguard Pizza Express for the long term”.

Zoe added: “Today we have confirmed that 73 of our pizzerias are proposed to close permanently.

“In most cases, there is another Pizza Express nearby, either already open or reopening soon, to welcome our customers. Our focus is on our people whose jobs are impacted and we will be doing everything we can either to redeploy them or to support them in finding roles elsewhere.

“Hard as this process is, it will protect the jobs of over 9,000 of our colleagues and provide a strong footing for Pizza Express to meet future challenges and opportunities.”

The announcement is the latest jobs crisis to hit the British high street in recent months.

Other firms have used the coronavirus crisis to announce restructurings and jobs losses, including Café Rouge owner Casual Dining Group, Prezzo and Carluccio's.