Blackburn-based supplier Cookson & Clegg has closed a year after designer Patrick Grant bought it, after a major customer withdrew its business.
Cookson & Clegg, established more than 150 years ago, went into voluntary liquidation on March 20, resulting in the loss of 45 jobs.
The business was close to collapse in February 2015, but was saved by Grant. He recruited 30 people, doubling the number of skilled machinists and attracted high street names including Marks & Spencer. He also set up an apprenticeship scheme as a way to get young locals into the textile industry.
However, following the withdrawal of a “major” unnamed customer, Grant has been forced to put the business into liquidation. In a statement he said he took the step with “enormous sadness”.
“I feel deeply sorry for all of our staff,” he said. “Twelve months ago I had high hopes that we could find a way to return the business to profitability, but with the recent loss of a major part of our business we can no longer keep the factory running.”
He added that he hopes to find a way to re-open the factory in the future, “albeit on a significantly smaller scale”.
Grant would not confirm which retailer had withdrawn its business- which was understood to have represented more than half of Cookson & Clegg’s output- but said it wasn’t M&S.
The closure will not affect Community Clothing, the crowdfunded fashion manufacturers’ cooperative that is due to start operations this summer.
The Kickstarter campaign closed in March, having raised £88,619 from 1,020 backers. Materials will now be sourced from alternative suppliers.