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16th January 2014, Lea Mills

John Smedley gets £500k boost

A luxury knitwear manufacturer based in Derbyshire, UK,  has announced it is to extend its product range and establish an apprenticeship scheme after securing a £500,000 investment. According to the Derby Telegraph, John Smedley, based in Lea Mills, near Matlock, which produces fine-gauge knitwear, has received the cash from Santander Corporate and Commercial.

Founded in 1784, the company, which employs around 400 people, will this year celebrate its 230th anniversary. Today, John Smedley’s products are distributed in over 40 countries with a strong market presence in Japan, Europe and the US.

John Smedley factory at Lea Mills, Derbyshire

The company holds a Royal Warrant and in November was awarded Premium Brand of the Year by Drapers. In recent years, the company’s financial performance has improved and it now has an annual turnover of £17 million.

John Smedley managing director Ian Maclean, a relative of the firm’s founder, told the Derby Telegraph: “John Smedley is one of the UK’s great ‘Made in Britain’ clothing brands and we are benefiting from increased international and online sales resulting from our firm commitment to quality, innovation and design.”

“We are gaining in confidence as global economic conditions improve and are looking to invest further, with the help of Santander, in growing our business and brand in the future.”

Jon Bennett, relationship director for Santander Corporate and Commercial, said: “We are delighted to be working with such an historic UK brand, a business rooted in the heart of Derbyshire, one that is investing for growth and with such a strong identity.

“We have a real keenness to help John Smedley achieve its growth objectives and I’m sure the business will continue to grow both in the UK and on a global basis.”

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