Derby

John Smedley factory closure leaves jobs at risk

Inside John Smedley factory
Image caption About 47 people are employed at the John Smedley

A knitwear manufacturer is set to shut its factory in a Derbyshire town where 47 people are employed.

John Smedley said it will close its Clay Cross plant and consolidate its operations at Lea Mills, where 21 new jobs will be on offer.

The Community Union, which represents knitwear industry workers, said it would fight to reverse the decision.

The company's managing director Ian Maclean said it was "very sad" that jobs were at risk.

Steve McCool, national officer for the Community Union, said there was a number of options which could be looked at to avoid job losses.

"There's a whole host of things like job sharing and various other things we may want to explore with the company, but that will only come to the surface once we get in there and ask serious questions," he said.

Mr Maclean said: "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.

"However, sustaining manufacturing in Britain means taking tough business decisions."

Staff were informed of the closure on Monday morning and a 30-day consultation period has begun.

The 231-year-old family-owned firm made a loss in 2010 but has since returned to profit.

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