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Ancient carpet firm Axminster is saved

A historic carpet maker and a supplier to 10 Downing Street and the Royal Albert Hall has been saved.

Axminster Carpets, which traces its roots to 1755 and has a Royal Warrant, has been rescued by a consortium of local investors, saving around a hundred jobs in the Devon town where it is based. It went into administration in February with the loss of 300 jobs.

The consortium, led by Stephen Boyd, who chairs the leather supplier Pittards, and including the ex-managing director of Axminster Joshua Dutfield, has bought the business "as a going concern" from the administrator, Duff & Phelps.

The carpet maker was founded by the Whitty family in the 1750s but went out of business in the 1830s. Its weaving traditions were revived in 1937 when Harry Dutfield founded the current company.

Joshua Dutfield, grandson of Harry, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the support received from the residents of the town."