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John Smedley to shut Clay Cross factory

Knitwear brand John Smedley is closing its factory in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, putting 47 full-time jobs at risk.

The company will consolidate its manufacturing at its Lea Mills site, nine miles away from Clay Cross, where 21 new jobs are being created. John Smedley also has a manufacturing facility in Armthorpe, near Doncaster.

The move is the second phase of cost-cutting measures.

“We are very much a family firm so naturally it is very sad when even a small number of jobs must be put at risk,” said managing director Ian Maclean. “However, sustaining manufacturing in Britain means taking tough business decisions to ensure we can maintain 370 skilled jobs and still be making quality knitwear locally for hundreds of years to come.

“John Smedley is committed to keeping and enhancing its manufacturing capability in Derbyshire, its home since 1784.”

According to the latest results filed at Companies House, John Smedley sales increased 14% to £17.2m for the year to March 31, 2014, but pre-tax profit remained flat at £1.5m.

Former Toyota UK managing director Dr Bryan Jackson has been appointed as non-executive chairman, replacing Charles Marsden-Smedley, who stepped down in September.

Sales and marketing director Jamie Tunnicliffe is also leaving later this month to pursue a new project. He will not be replaced on the board and his responsibilities will be shared between the existing team.

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