Passage to India for Hucknall firm

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A THRIVING company, based in Hucknall, has spread its wings by opening a factory in India — and created 50 jobs in the region.

Schoolwear supplier Price And Buckland, which is based on Benneworth Close, off Watnall Road, has launched the factory in Noida, near New Delhi.

It was opened in response to increased orders and to enable the company to take control of its production processes and improve delivery.

Joint managing director Anthony Buckland commented: “We chose to set up our factory in Noida because it’s a busy economic area with a thriving textile industry and many skilled workers.

“Our new factory has allowed us to greatly enhance the reliability and continuity of our colours, sizing and quality and vastly improve our flexibility and cost control.”

Price And Buckland is one of the UK’s leading schoolwear suppliers, working with more than 2,500 schools and academies across the country. It has an annual turnover of about £8 million.

With more than 50 years in the industry, the company offers a range of uniform, sportswear and accessories — from smart school-blazers and jackets to modern girl-fit garments and hoodies.

The company ceased manufacturing in the UK about seven years ago when it decided to outsource production to countries such as Portugal and Vietnam.

Today it employs 70 people, including about 30 embroiders at the Hucknall plant who stitch emblems such as school badges.

The factory in India was just a shell of a building originally, with no electricity or water. Japanese-made machines were brought in — to make sportswear, such as sweatshirts and polo shirts, for UK state schools.

The sportswear is made for about £4 but sells for double that, says Mr Buckland.

The opening of the new factory in India comes only a month after Price And Buckland launched an online portal for designing sportswear. PB Sport Kit Designer allows users to select sportswear items to customise, choose colours from a palette, add individual names and numbers and instantly view their designs online.

Anthony added: “Thanks to the confidence gained in the team at our India factory, we have already been able to develop a superb range of sportswear for senior schools.

“The new developments will, in time, also feed through into the primary-school market.”