Axminster representatives have hailed ‘great news for the town’ that its famous carpet-makers has been saved.
Axminster Carpets collapsed in February with the loss of 80 jobs – but a group of private investors, industry leaders and the Dutfield family last week came to its rescue.
The consortium of investors, including the family which restarted the historic business in 1937, salvaged it from administration and intend to reboot production.
The business, which had amassed debts of nearly £8million, is now well-funded and debt free, the new owners said.
Councillor Andrew Moulding said: “It is great news for Axminster, great news for the historic Axminster carpet industry, and great news for those dedicated employees whose jobs have been saved.
“It is not likely all the workforce will be re-employed and the council will strive, alongside other partners, to continue to support those who will be seeking new opportunities and alternative employment.”
Cllr Ian Hall added: “This will hopefully go a long way with the excellent support that has been given by East Devon and the Axminster Job Club.
“This will enable the individuals and their families who have been enduring a difficult journey to come to a healthy decision that must be paramount to their own wellbeing.
“Please remember, there will still be support available on Thursdays at the Pippins Centre.
“It is of course excellent news that the future looks far brighter for the carpet industry in Axminster.”
East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the economy, Cllr Kevin Blakey, added: “We were delighted to learn the news that Axminster Carpets has found a new buyer, which will enable an element of re-employment at the factory.
“We’re keen to support a more productive and sustainable future for carpet manufacturing in the town, and we look forward to learning how many staff will remain with the firm and in what capacity.
“This will help us adapt our ongoing redundancy support to employees who continue to need it.
“Our next support session is opened up to anyone who has been made redundant, be it from Axminster Carpets or more recently from Flybe.
“It will take place at the Pippins Community Centre in Axminster on March 12, from 9am to noon.
“East Devon District Council and our partners will continue to offer one-to-one guidance and practical assistance for anyone in need of our support.”