Textiles firm takes on more workers as faith in UK pays off with boom in orders
A DERBYSHIRE textiles firm has taken on 28 new members of staff and sewn up a deal to take on another warehouse as UK and export sales grow.
Alfreton-based women's fashion house David Nieper has experienced increased demand from core mail-order customers in the last six months and enjoyed a 24% increase in online sales.
Bursting at the seams at Saulgrove House, its base in Nottingham Road, the business has bought the freehold of a 15,000 sq ft unit in Monk Road, Alfreton.
It will provide capacity for extra growth as the business takes on more workers.
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The latest influx of recruits brings the number of people employed at David Nieper to 230 and include seamstresses, pattern cutters, knitwear linkers and technicians.
The majority of those taken on have previously worked in textiles and had left the industry disillusioned or after being made redundant as a result of retailers and manufacturers going offshore in search of cheaper labour.
Janice Burgin, 50, of Ironville, is one of those taken on as a full-time knitwear linker. She said: "I've worked in knitwear for more than 26 years but was made redundant back in 2007 when the last company I worked for moved all its manufacturing overseas.
"I'd lost confidence in ever finding a skilled position back in the industry so it's great to be back doing a job that I love with such a thriving company that recognises and values my skills and years of experience."
Christopher Nieper, managing director of David Nieper, said: "Recruiting, developing and retaining skills is crucial to the success of our business. The jobs that have been filled are all skilled jobs, many that have been shed by other textile employers in the region over the past few years.
"Our recent recruits have valuable skills that could have been lost forever but there is a strong appetite among customers for high-quality, British-made goods and a real need to protect and develop traditional skills right here in the East Midlands."
David Nieper has always stayed committed to the UK, designing and manufacturing its clothing in Derbyshire.
The East Midlands is the largest clothing and textiles region in Europe, according to the East Midlands Textile Association and has the highest proportion of people working in manufacturing than in any other UK region.
The warehouse deal was put together by Sean Bremner at Lambert Smith Hampton acting for David Nieper, and Tim Gilbertson, of FHP, acting for the vendor.
Mr Gilbertson said: "It came as no surprise that, once the eventual party showed interest through their agent, we quickly agreed terms. Equally pleasing was the speed with which the transaction was agreed and documented.
"Literally, from first viewing until handing the keys over took no more than four weeks. If only all transactions could be so quick."