A STITCH in time is needed to save a famous Crewe clothing factory from going bust.
The Cheshire Clothing Company has plunged into financial crisis despite being a hit with the rich who wear its handmade suits.
The firm, which was officially opened by Princess Anne in October last year, emerged from the ashes of the Chester Barrie company which went bust in 2002.
Now it too has gone into administrative receivership.
A buyer is being urgently sought for the Marshfield Bank business which employs 112 skilled craftsmen and women.
Many were drawn from the workforce of the former Chester Barrie factory in Weston Road which was sold to B&Q to build its newly opened giant warehouse store.
A management buy-out of Chester Barrie kept Crewe on the map for bespoke tailoring when the new owners bought the Marshfield Bank site and invested heavily in new equipment.
Despite a prosperous period last year, the future of the workforce rests on finding a buyer.
CCC directors declined to comment this week, leaving publicity announcements to appointed receivers David White-house and Adrian Wolstenholme, partners in Kroll Corporate Advisory and Restructuring Group.
Mr Whitehouse said: 'Cheshire Clothing Company has built an international reputation for producing high end quality products and is widely recognised in the industry.
'The company has a loyal and highly skilled workforce producing a range of clothes for a number of world famous designers.
'Considerable investment has been made by directors and shareholders during the last 14 months, but while the company attempted to resolve its production issues by the end of October, investors were unable to fund production any further.
'The company had no alternative but to ask its financiers to appoint receivers.'
With its beautifully designed outfits in big demand by elite brands such as Burberry and Oswald Boateng, they believe a buyer will not be hard to find.
Mr Whitehouse added: 'A strong order book, quality product and highly skilled staff ensure the business is an attractive proposition to potential buyers.
'It is this reputation that has led to substantial interest and we are already in an advanced stage of negotiation to ensure the business is sold as a going concern.'
The bright, ultra-modern factory is specifically lit for close work, but traditional tailoring methods ensure a top quality finish. Princess Anne visited in her capacity as president of UK Fashion Exports and complimented staff on their workmanship.