We'll return Royal Crown Derby to five-day week
ROYAL Crown Derby's new owners have pledged to return the business to a full working week as soon as possible.
Stoke-on-Trent ceramics manufacturer Steelite International has completed a multi-million-pound deal to buy the historic Osmaston Road firm.
The 200-strong Derby workforce will be retained and investment is planned in manufacturing, marketing, sales and in employees.
The thinking behind the deal is to give tableware maker Steelite a high-end product it will be able to sell to the world's most luxurious hotels, restaurants, cruise ships and palaces.
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These are largely new markets for Royal Crown Derby and so it is hoped that sales will increase and more work will come into the factory, said Steelite chief executive Kevin Oakes.
As the recession hit in 2008, Royal Crown Derby laid off 30 workers and in 2009 it went to a four-day working week.
Mr Oakes said yesterday: "It is very much our intention to bring back the five-day week. We will need to work hard to achieve that and, ultimately, demand will dictate when that will happen."
The sale was sparked by the retirement of chief executive Hugh Gibson, who said he felt the company would "thrive" under its new owner.