Jobs saved as Sudbury silk factory Vanners finds new owners

Laura Gore and James Cartlidge

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge with Vanners MD Laura Gore in the factory earlier this year. - Credit: Office of James Cartlidge

Remaining staff from the Vanners silk factory in Sudbury have had the best Christmas present they could have wished for - the company has been sold and the 31 jobs there have been saved.

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge tweeted the news on Christmas Eve.

The future of the company had been put in doubt after it called in administrators in November.

It had suffered from a major loss of business, with the fall in business at up-market duty free shops because of the pandemic and administrators being called in at one of its major customers in America.

When administrators KPMG were called in, half the 64 staff were made redundant.

The business will continue to trade through a new company, Vanners Silk (1740) Limited.

James Lumb, joint administrator and director at KPMG, said: “We have had the opportunity to work with this business over recent months and the quality that runs through its heritage and values are really impressive.

"We are very pleased to have secured this sale - not least because it protects the jobs of the 31 members of staff we retained.

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"We wish the new team every success for the future.”

The town has been a centre of the silk industry for hundreds of years and Vanners has supplied silk to top-end fashion houses from around the world.

Among those who have been photographed wearing Vanners silk are singer Adele and former US First Lady Michelle Obama.

Mr Cartlidge said: "I was very pleased to hear from administrators KPMG that Vanners had been saved.

"Their 31 staff would have been facing waking up on Christmas Day to find themselves redundant, so the most important thing is that we have avoided that outcome.

"I understand Vanners has been sold to a fashion company, though I don’t know the name, so the other key thing is that the firm will continue as a silk business.

"Of course, Sudbury has a proud heritage as a silk town and the loss of Vanners would have been more than an economic blow.

"I wish the new owners every success."