Clothing firm Cookson & Clegg closes with 45 job losses

Blackburn-based clothing manufacturer Cookson & Clegg has been placed into voluntary liquidation with the loss of 45 jobs, a year after being rescued by TV personality and Savile Row tailor Patrick Grant.

Speaker - Patrick Grant

The firm was taken over by the fashion designer and BBC Great British Sewing Bee judge in 2015, establishing a blue chip customer base including names such as Debenhams, M&S, Ben Sherman and Karrimor.

Cookson & Clegg had also started an apprenticeship programme in conjunction with Blackburn College.

Grant has been a passionate advocate for manufacturing in Blackburn and his investment in the town secured much high-profile national media coverage.

He said: "‘It is with enormous sadness that I have had to take this step. I feel deeply sorry for all of our staff.

"A year ago I had high hopes that we could find a way to return the business to profitability but with the recent loss of a major part of our business we can no longer keep the factory running.

"I still have great belief in the future of high end clothing manufacture in the UK and great belief in Blackburn as a manufacturing centre.

"I hope to find a way to re-open the factory, albeit on a significantly smaller scale."

Coun Phil Riley, executive member for regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said: "This is very sad news for the town and in particular for the employees and their families.

"Cookson & Clegg has been a part of our manufacturing heritage since 1860 and there were high hopes for its future under the new owners.

"To lose such a historic institution makes the news even more disappointing. We will be seeking assurances regarding the provision that has been made for staff and working with the relevant agencies to provide advice and support." By Sam Parker