The boss of a hosiery manufacturer who raised concerns that his company might be forced to move out of Belper has confirmed the firm will now remain in the town.
Gary Spendlove, managing director of Brettles, said in October last year that, due to a shortage of commercial premises, he was being forced to consider re-locating the growing firm.
The move would have ended the company’s historic connection with Belper. Owned by parent firm Slenderella, the brand has been located in the town for more than 200 years.
However, after an opportunity to expand into a neighbouring property in Queen Street, Belper, came up Mr Spendlove said the firm was able to continue operating in the town for the immediate future.
He said: “Our concerns that a lack of business and industrial space in the town was making my company seek alternate locations to accommodate our growth plans.
“Following negotiations with the previous owner, the company have been able to purchase a neighbouring building which will allow sufficient storage and distribution space in the short to medium term. However we are still wishing to find a suitable building or site within the locality to extend storage, distribution, retail and possibly manufacturing.
“Also of local historic interest we would like to create a textile museum or visitor centre. Possibly as a joint venture with Belper’s established East Mill visitor centre.”
Brettles garments are sold at more than 700 retail outlets, including a factory shop in Belper. George Brettle and Co was founded in 1786 and, by the late-1800s, the firm employed more than 1,000 members of staff.
Mr Spendlove continued: “In recent months the company’s export growth has continued to new markets including Australia, Canada and Eastern Europe. Recent orders received from Nigeria added to previous transactions in Ghana and are indication of potential for 100 per cent Cotton products in the wealthier African countries.”
A team from Slenderella, including Mr Spendlove will visit the Middle East and Far East during May to develop new sourcing opportunities and to discuss further distribution potential.
Mr Spendlove added: “The Paris fashion week will again be a positive showcase for our new collections. Sales and marketing manager, Ashley Spendlove is delighted that several customers have made appointments to view the new collections and place orders for 2015.”