DOUBT has been cast over the opening of Patisserie Valerie at Northwich's Barons Quay. 

Northwich residents have welcomed recent news that the popular cake chain will open at the £80 million Northwich retail development as soon as next month. 

But today, question marks have been raised over the chain opening at Barons Quay following concerning revelations over a 'major black hole' in the company's finances, which is reported as more than £20 million. 

The cafe's parent company Patisserie Holdings has now released a statement admitting that Patisserie Valerie will have to cease trading without an 'immediate' cash injection.

Patisserie Holdings made the announcement after being slapped with a winding up petition over unpaid taxes and unearthing potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities on Wednesday.

Patisserie Holdings said: "The company, in conjunction with its professional advisers, has during the last 24 hours, undertaken further investigation into the financial status of the company.

"The board has now reached the conclusion that there is a material shortfall between the reported financial status and the current financial status of the business.

"Without an immediate injection of capital, the directors are of the view that that is no scope for the business to continue trading in its current form."

It also said the company's directors and professional advisers are 'assessing all options available to the business to keep it trading'.

Patisserie Holdings said it would update the market in due course.

The news comes just days after announcing that Patisserie Valerie would open at Barons Quay in November.

Cllr Brian Clarke, Cheshire West and Chester Council cabinet member for economic development, said the council is 'aware' or the news, but refused to comment further. 

Cllr Clarke said: “The council is aware of recent news about Patisserie Holdings and is not in a position to comment about any investigation that is taking place.

“Plans are underway to open a new Patisserie Valerie store in Barons Quay, to join the growing number of retailers including H&M, Sports Direct and the Entertainer toy shop.”