Strong pound hits Newcastle factory

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The Independent Online
MORE THAN 460 jobs are under threat at a textile factory in Newcastle- upon-Tyne after the company was forced to go into administration because of the strength of sterling.

Cramlington Textiles, which makes bed linen, curtains and home furnishings, was put into the hands of Begbies Traynor, an administrator, after its cash-flow was squeezed by the winter slump in consumer spending.

The firm, which has been making losses since 1995, was also hit by a flood of cheap imports encouraged by the strength of the pound.

The group was already in the midst of a big restructuring exercise at the end of last year. But the costs of the restructuring became unmanageable when cash-flow was squeezed by the retail slump.

Ron Robinson, the administrator, said it was inevitable that some redundancies would be necessary. But he said there was still a good hope that the business itself could be saved.

The company was formerly owned by the Lonrho conglomerate. Known as Brentford Nylons, it was a spinner, weaver, dyer, printer and retailer of fabrics and linens. Woodrow Wilson Investments, a private investment firm, bought the business from Lonrho in 1997.