Clarks considers closure of British factory

Historic British footwear brand Clarks is consulting staff on the possible closure of its new footwear manufacturing facility in Street, Somerset.

The high-tech plant was opened just two years ago and it had been hoped it would create 80 new jobs with a target of producing 300,000 pairs of its signature desert boot a year.

However, according to The Times, the plant has failed to meet targets and the company is now in consultation with the 49 staff employed there over its potential closure.

“Despite best efforts, we have determined that the levels of production and cost targets we hoped for will not be reached in the short to medium term. We are therefore proposing to cease production and close the facility,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.

Clarks withdrew its production from the UK in 2005 leaving only a head office in Somerset. Its shoes are now produced in the Far East. It had been hoped that the new Street facility, which is robot-assisted, would hail a new era of British-made product for the 200-year-old family firm.