Jobs boost for clothing firm

editorial image

A jobs boost is heading for Alfreton after a £245,000 grant was secured by a clothing design and manufacturing company.

David Nieper is hoping that the cash, which has come through the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund, will form part of a £1.75 million investment by the well-known fashion house to create up to 35 new positions.

The investment will also fund the creation of a brand new in-house catalogue production and printing works to increase UK and global sales of its British-made goods.

Further investment has also been ploughed into a brand new 11,000 sq ft production unit at Monk Road Industrial Estate in Alfreton to house its new printing works, and its expanding mailing division – enabling David Nieper to double production of knitwear at its main factory.

Managing director, Christopher Nieper, which has been designing and manufacturing women’s fashion in Derbyshire for more than 50 years and currently employs over 230 people. The expansion has already led to the immediate employment of six new members of staff, including a highly skilled printer and print finishing team leader.

He said: “Over a third of our sales are to overseas customers buying from foreign language versions of our catalogues.

“With the grant from the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund to help purchase the new printing press, we can now ramp-up our marketing overseas to expand our export customer base.

“More sales mean more local jobs, and thanks to the grant, we are on target to hire a further 35 new members of staff by the end of next year and will be able to reduce our printing costs.”

DEGF is delivered by Derby City Council and is part of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. It was launched in December 2012 with the aim of creating 2,200 new jobs by 2020 and supporting the growth of a wide range of businesses in Derby and the surrounding area.

The funding awards are a mix of loans and grants for a variety of projects which include building, extending, updating or moving to new premises through to providing new equipment and machinery.

The DEGF support will be used by David Nieper to help purchase the most advanced, eco-friendly printing press capable of producing the highest ‘Vogue’ quality catalogues to ensure perfect garment colour matching.

Leader of Derby City Council, Coun Paul Bayliss chairs the panel of business, financial, investment and regeneration representatives that meet regularly to review applications.

He said: “The key to the success of David Nieper and other projects which are due to be confirmed imminently is that they all have a robust business plan which clearly demonstrates innovation, growth and job creation.

“Although the fund has been established to be flexible and responsive to business needs both in terms of ease of application and timescales, we work to clearly defined guidelines which include the need for applicants to have already tried to source funding from traditional sources such as banks.

“We know how difficult this is proving for businesses and by administering the DEGF, Derby City Council is effectively acting as a bank of last resort.

“I am confident that David Nieper’s track record in innovation, coupled with the established skills base in the city and surrounding area will create local jobs for local people.

“We continue to want to hear from all businesses that have a project that will enable them to grow as we have a limited time to spend this cash to support businesses so now is the time to grasp this opportunity.

“I would therefore urge businesses to visit our website to find out more and apply.”

Applications are welcomed by the council on a rolling basis until March 2015. Businesses can visit www.derby.gov.uk/degf where they can find out more, download the application form and guidance notes. They can also get help with any enquiries on 01332 641628 or email degf@derby.gov.uk