Leading silk manufacturer Vanners claims to be the first silk factory in the UK to have all its operations housed under one roof.
The 250-year-old company, based at Gregory Mills in Weavers Lane, recently moved its tie-making business from Essex to Sudbury.
It makes around 150,000 ties a year, which it sells in the UK and abroad to clients to market under their own branded labels.
It took tie production and distribution manager Caroline Humphreys six months to plan the move from Basildon to Sudbury.
She said the initiative had gone extremely well, with tie production business up and running within three days of arrival.
The Italian tie-making machines had to be loaded on to custom-made pallets for the move, which was all done in a day.
She said: “Everything was loaded on to an open-sided lorry in Basildon in the morning, and we managed to move everything over to Sudbury in one go. We even had Italians over here to ensure all the machines were up and running as quickly as possible.
“All the staff worked hard and they did a brilliant job,” she added. “It’s a case of so far, so good.”
More than 100 people work for Vanners.
Eight skilled workers transferred from the Basildon site and, since the move, the business has taken on five new employees to specifically work in its tie-making unit.
Caroline has worked for the company for 15 years, prompting her son, Sam, 25, to follow in his mother’s footsteps. “A lot of people stay with us a long time and we also have lots of families working here,” said Caroline.
The firm’s tie-making operation had been based in Essex since its acquisition in the 1990s.
“We acquired the tie-making business about 20 years ago but it made sense to bring it to Sudbury to save time and money, as well as reduce our carbon footprint,” said Caroline.
“We now have the entire manufacturing process under one roof, from yarn dying to the finished product.
“We believe we are unique in the UK because it’s all done in one place,” she added.