MORE than 100 jobs are to be created with return of clothing manufacturing to East Durham.
A new company, The AMA Group Ltd, is opening a factory on Peterlee’s Whitehouse Business Park, signalling the revival of an industry which was once a mainstay of the area.
The company is being launched by former Claremont Garments directors Julie and David Price and Paul Watts along with two other directors. Production is expected to begin in early April.
The company is keen to employ a mix of young people, to be trained in-house and with support from East Durham College, and experienced machinists.
Julie Price, who ran Essensual Lingerie after the closure of Claremont, said: “We have become much more conscious of where our clothing comes from, socially and environmentally, and that, coupled with the inflexibility of sourcing products from overseas, prompted retailers to look at their suppliers.
“These factors were the driving force behind us thinking seriously about bringing manufacturing back to the area.”
Business Durham, part of Durham County Council, has supported the plans.
Joanne Urquhart-Arnold, Business Development Area Manager, said: “This is a massive boost for the area, not just because it will see the creation of over 100 jobs and support young people but also the revival of an industry which was once one of the area’s most important employers.”