Brexit blamed as Axminster Carpets looks to cut jobs

Axminster Carpets factory

Axminster Carpets factory - Credit: Archant

One of Axminster’s biggest companies has asked its staff to take voluntary redundancy.

Axminster Carpets, which has operated in the town since 1755, said it is looking to 'streamline' its operations to combat any implications of Brexit.

In a statement Jonathan Young, the firm's managing director, said: "Axminster Carpets has been fundamentally repositioned during the last couple of years, during which time the business has seen good growth in sales, the launch of new products, improved customer service and further development of its brand.

"The current market outlook is, however, more challenging with the sustained uncertainty relating to Brexit leading to a lack of consumer-spending confidence.

"Axminster Carpets is a proud British manufacturer which fully recognises the essential part that its employees play in delivering such exceptional products.

"The company is therefore working very closely with its employees whilst it implements a process to streamline its operations in order to make sure it is positioned for a sustainable future.

"The company is therefore asking its employees if anyone would like to take the opportunity of voluntary redundancy which may work for both parties."

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The number of positions to go has not been revealed by the firm.

It is not the first time that job roles have been thrown into doubt at Axminster Carpets.

In 2013, a substantial number of jobs were lost as part of a dramatic rescue deal for the business. The deal did, however, safeguard 100 jobs.

In his memo this month, Mr Young said: "We would like to thank those employees who are impacted by these changes and are sure that their dedication and that of the remaining workforce will ensure the ongoing production of great products whilst the company pushes into new areas.

"Axminster Carpets has been proudly designing and weaving 100 per cent wool and wool-rich carpets and rugs in the Devon town of Axminster since 1755."

The company was founded by Thomas Whitty in 1755 and original Axminster carpets can be found in Chatsworth House and Brighton Pavilion. However there was a gap in production following a fire that destroyed the factory.

The decision was made to relaunch carpet manufacturing in the town in 1937.