New jobs on the cards as textile firm bounces back from devastating blaze

James Brett, Mark Jowett, from Yorkshire Bank and Edward McBrien

James Brett, Mark Jowett, from Yorkshire Bank and Edward McBrien

First published in Business Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Business Reporter

New jobs are in the pipeline at a family-owned textile business which is enjoying a sales boom after bouncing back from a devastating fire nearly a decade ago .

James C Brett (Yarn Merchants), Bingley, is on track for a 30 per cent sales increase this year and has acquired a 9,000 sq ft warehouse to meet expanding demand.

The firm has won support from Yorkshire Bank’s West Yorkshire business banking centre in Bradford to fund the warehouse deal as well as arranging foreign exchange and overdraft facilities to enable the manufacturer and wholesaler of hand-knitted yarns to manufacture in Turkey.

This year’s expected sales increase follows a 45 per cent turnover rise since 2009 and the company, which has 24 employees and a multi-million pound turnover, plans to take on four more office, warehouse, production and dispatch staff in the next 12 months.

After the February 2003 fire at the business’s manufacturing subsidiary, Cullingworth Commissioning Com-pany, the business was devastated.

James C Brett designs its own yarns and produces a wide range of patterns, including the Jenny Watson Yarn Collection.

It also manufactures craft cotton and chunky, Aran and fancy yarns, and in the last year has created 12 new ranges and 100 supporting knitting patterns.

Managing partner James Brett, who founded the business in 1965, said: “Fortunately after the fire some of our competitors stepped in and helped out with our spinning to enable us to continue to service our customers.

“After about 18 months, and with backing from Yorkshire Bank, we outsourced our spinning to several companies in Turkey with whom we have built up excellent relationships.

“We are a creative design and service-led business and are expanding due to the major resurgence in knitting as a hobby.

“This is greatly a result of the efforts of the UK Hand Knitting Association, of which we are a founder member, and the Craft Council. The new warehouse has enabled us to streamline our stockholding from three premises, which has increased our stockholding capability and dispatch speed.”

The company, which has three partners, James Brett, his son, Jamie and Eddie McBrien, supplies retail chains and independent shops throughout the UK. It exports 20 per cent of sales to the Irish Republic, Malta and Cyprus, the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Mark Jowett, Yorkshire Bank business banking partner, said: “Yorkshire Bank has gained more than 150 years’ experience of supporting local enterprises since being founded by a textile magnate and we are especially pleased to have backed James C Brett after the fire.”

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