Jobs saved as clothing makers come out of liquidation

More than 40 jobs have been saved after the takeover of three clothing manufacturers linked to liquidation following financial difficulties.

Community Commodities Limited and Cookson & Clegg Clothing Ltd, both based in Blackburn, and Norton & Sons Limited, a Savile Row tailor, are part of a group owned and operated by clothing designer Patrick Grant.

Each had been affected by external factors, such as the closure of high streets during the Covid-19 pandemic and the administration of Debenhams leaving large bad debts.

The companies were sold to Community Clothing (Lancashire) Ltd, C&C Textiles Ltd and Norton Hammond & Tautz Ltd, in deals that save jobs and ensure continuity and continued supply.

Ian McCulloch, co-liquidator of Opus Restructuring & Insolvency, said: “The group has been affected by a number of external factors beyond its control. The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly brought difficult times for retailers. These difficulties were heightened after the group suffered a large bad debt following the administration of Debenhams. Additionally, significant losses were incurred after securing a contract to produce PPE for the UK government.

“Alternative options, including additional investment, were considered, but the level of liabilities across the group meant that liquidation was the most appropriate option. Having reached this stage, we are delighted to conclude a sale which will preserve jobs for the group’s employees.”

Patrick Grant said: “It has been by far the most difficult two years of my life, both professionally and personally. I am so incredibly happy and relieved that we were able to agree on a rescue plan for the company that not only saves all jobs, but also allows us to continue our work to help rebuild UK textile communities like Blackburn.

The liquidators were advised on the transaction by Harrison Drury in Preston. KBL Solicitors in Blackburn acted on behalf of the buyers.

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