Relief as mill stays open

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Production at the Canterbury Wool Spinners mill site in Oamaru is set to continue, at least for the time being.

A spokesman for the company, a subsidiary of Godfrey Hirst which acquired the assets of Summit Wool Spinners in late February, said production at the site would continue at the existing level for the foreseeable future.

“They [the owners] are keeping the business open on the same basis as it is now,” he said. “They are continuing to evaluate the business and any possible changes will be as a result of an upturn in the carpet market.

“The good news is that it will stay open with the existing level of staff.” Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton said the continuation of Canterbury Wool Spinners’ operation in Oamaru was great news.

“The management of the organisation has a great desire to make the very best out of the business,” he said. “They are poised to take any market advantage when it comes.”

Summit Wool Spinners, which was owned by the Sumitomo Corporation, closed its doors in late February with the loss of 192 jobs.

Sixty staff members were re-employed in March while the new owners carried out a review of the viability of the operation. At that time, a spokesperson for Canterbury Wool Spinners said the review was ongoing. As part of change of ownership, Canterbury Wool Spinners was granted consent by the Overseas Investment Office to acquire a freehold interest in the land where the site is located.

The land formed part of the sale of assets from the Sumitomo-owned company Summit Wool Spinners to Canterbury Wool Spinners.

 

By Jacquie Webby

 

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