'We make 15,000 ties a week': Pendle schoolwear firm opens new Nelson factory

A family schoolwear manufacturer is staying true to its Pendle roots after a move that has seen them swap Colne for Nelson, where the Mayor cut the ribbon to officially open their brand-new factory.

Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 11:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 12:01 pm
(From left): Daniel Turner (Managing Director); Wendy Lord (Factory Manager), Debbi Irving (Embroidery Manager); the Mayoress, Barbara Whalley; the Mayor of Pendle, Cllr Whalley; Mandy Edwards (Machinist); and John Turner (Operations Director).

Welcoming more than 120 people to the opening ceremony on Monday, April 23rd, William Turner Schoolwear Accessories - a family-led school attire manufacturer - completed their move down the M65 with the Mayor of Pendle, Councillor David Whalley, and his wife, the Mayoress Barbara, the guests of honour.

Established in 1969 and part of the Pendle community for four decades, William Turner - who previously traded as Tie Trade Services prior to 2010 - sought a change of scenery which would allow them to invest more in the local economy by looking to expand with their own purpose-built factory in Westfield in Nelson.

"The opening was fantastic, it couldn't have gone any better, we were thrilled," said Daniel Turner, the company's Managing Director. "We're officially open! The opportunity to move came up and we wanted to invest in our own, purpose-built factory which would allow us to expand and improve.

"It was important to keep it local: we needed to look after the staff so we didn't want to move too far away," Daniel added. "And while we couldn't find anything in Colne, when this new site right next to the motorway in Nelson came up, it was perfect."

Supplying retailers themselves rather than customers and schools, William Turner produces hand-crafted ties for a national customer base, with the company - which has another factory in Skipton and offices in Stockport - manufacturing 15,000 ties every week and boasting an annual turnover of £11m.

"It was a great event," said the Mayor. "It's not just a case of bringing new businesses to Pendle, it's a case of keeping the ones we've got, so when they want to expand into bigger and newer premises, it's great when we can help so they can stay in Pendle. It's got to be great for the area.

"Pendle Council has given William Turner £10,000 to help with the move, and so as the Mayor of Pendle and on behalf of the council, I'm so glad we were able to assist William Turner," he added. "The whole factory is very impressive, and seeing how much work went into the hand-made products was genuinely amazing. It's quite the skilled workforce they have.

"And I was very touched by the plaque they put up saying I'd opened the new premises as well!"