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Cambridge Satchel Co ups head count

The Cambridge Satchel Company is planning to expand its workforce and set up an apprentice scheme with local colleges, giving a shot in the arm to British manufacturing.

The brand, which last week received a $21m (£12.7m) investment from venture capital company Index Ventures, is looking to hire 50 people to join its 110-strong workforce by the end of the year, with a focus on increasing its design and production teams.

“In the short term we are looking to double turnover at the factory in Leicester and this means increasing our design and production side of the business. If I can make up for the 33 redundancies at the Kinky Knickers factory [Headen & Quarmby in Manchester, which went into administration last month] then that would make me happy,” said founder Julie Deane.

The Cambridge Satchel Company, which Deane set up with her mother Freda Thomas in 2008, is also aiming to create an apprenticeship scheme with local colleges in the next few months to help boost UK manufacturing skills.

The brand’s first international store is also in the pipeline this year, although a location has yet to be decided on. “I keep changing the shortlist,” said Deane.

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