Hundreds of jobs at risk as carpet firm goes into administration
Hundreds of jobs are at risk as the Axminster carpet company is reported to have gone into adminstration.
As well as 400 people at its East Devon plant, Axminster owns and runs Buckfast Spinning Company and the Buckfast Mill Carpet Centre in Buckfastleigh.
The Buckfastleigh mill provides all the wool for Axminster carpets.
Axminster Carpets has been making carpets since 1755 and supplies Royal residences as well as luxury airline, hotel and train companies.
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Axminster Carpets is today telling staff that they are 'likely to lose their jobs'.
Axminster Carpets Limited is continuing to trade while the company explores all options.
The company’s board of directors confirmed that a notice of intention to appoint administrators has been filed.
The notice was filed in order to provide the company and its creditors with a moratorium period during which the various rescue options being explored can continue.
The notice of intention to appoint administrators nominates Benjamin Wiles, Geoff Bouchier and David Whitehouse of Duff & Phelps as Joint Administrators.
The company’s Director, Joshua Dutfield, said: "Trading has been difficult and the management has been working with key suppliers, creditors and the lenders in an attempt to resolve the Company's financial difficulties. We continue to be committed to working to achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned and most importantly the staff and suppliers."
Tim Jones, chairman of the heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said the “market cycle had gone against them” but added there was hope that a “white knight” might ride to the firm’s rescue.
He said the announcement, made to employees this morning, was an “enormous blow” to the town and the wider regional economy, where another 50 jobs are also at risk.
“This is earthquake territory in terms of the shock on the local area,” he added.
Axminster Carpets can trace its history back more than 250 years in Devon to midsummer's day in 1755, when a local cloth weaver by the name of Thomas Whitty decided to give the traditional festivities a miss in favour of staying indoors and trying his hand at weaving his very first carpet by hand.
The result was a great success and was subsequently named after Axminster, the market town where Whitty lived and worked.
Carpets from Axminster quickly became the undisputed choice for wealthy English country homes and town houses.
They were to be found in Chatsworth House and Brighton Pavilion as well as being bought by King George III and Queen Charlotte who even visited the first factory.
The company’s carpets can be found in royal residences but they are also the flooring of choice for some of the finest hotels in the world, in train carriages, on the aircraft of major global airlines including British Airways and in thousands of discerning homes up and down the country.