New jobs as mill reports ‘considerable growth’

A KNITWEAR mill placed in administration three years ago is set to increase its workforce by ten per cent and will invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in machinery.

Peter Scott, which lost all but 20 of its 140-strong workforce before being bought by Gloverall Plc in July 2010, is on course to return to a level close to its previous operation after seeing “considerable growth in 2012”.

Since February 2011, the company has doubled its workforce, today employing 100 workers at its Buccleuch Road mill, and it is believed ten more staff will be taken on in the first quarter of this year.

The Hawick News understands that managing director Daniel Kim, of the South Korea-based Eland group of which Gloverall is a part, has earmarked around £250,000 towards new machinery, which is set to be installed within the next three months. Last year, Peter Scott announced it had made a radical change in the factory layout to improve efficiency of its output after receiving orders that meant it was running to capacity.

The creation of new jobs and investment comes as the company prepares to celebrate its 135th anniversary this year.

Peter Scott’s Hawick-based operations manager Alistair Young said that the company had experienced great success in the last year. He told the Hawick News: “We’ve seen considerable growth in Peter Scott in comparison to 2011, due to a strong increase in sales from our spring/summer business, a good stock-supported service, and a quick turnaround in delivery time.”

Its Asia-based owners have ensured that Peter Scott markets products in some of the most famous ‘high-end’ department stores in China, as well as in Western markets and at home. Wholesale orders continue to grow, and Mr Kim has expressed concern about the town plant’s capacity. He has suggested previously that the company may look to outsource some of its production in order to satisfy demand, however the imminent arrival of new high-tech machinery may negate that requirement.

Hawick-based MSP John Lamont was delighted to learn of the news on new jobs and investment. He said: “This is great news for Peter Scott and the wider textiles industry in Hawick. This investment shows that the management have confidence for the future and in the abilities of the local workforce.”