MORE jobs are on the way at a clothing firm after bosses signed a six-figure deal with a major supermarket’s fashion brand.
Julie Price and Paul Watts, joint managing directors of Peterlee’s AMA Group, the company that has brought clothing manufacturing back to East Durham, has signed its first major contract with leading retailer Tesco.
AMA will produce clothing for Tesco’s F&F range, which will hit stores nationwide in early September.
The contract is part of an ongoing partnership which The AMA Group has entered into with F&F which has the option of filling capacity at the company’s Peterlee facility.
Julie said: “We are delighted that after months of planning and preparation, we are able to announce our first major national deal.
“Tesco expressed an interest in working with us at a very early stage so the last few months have been about us agreeing the specifics of the deal and undergoing audits to prove our company could meet their exacting standards.
“We’ve now signed on the dotted line and production for this initial contract will be underway shortly.
“To begin with we’ll be manufacturing soft separates jerseywear for F&F.”
Paul said: “We’ve talked about recruiting in excess of 150 people; that’s us being conservative. In reality we expect that figure to rise significantly so we can meet the demand that is already there.”
The AMA Group plans to recruit more than 150 people between now and the end of 2015 to meet the rise in demand for the garments. So far 25 experienced machinists have been employed with the remaining being recruited on a monthly basis.
Jason Tarry, chief executive officer of F&F, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with The AMA Group and helping to bring back jobs to an area with such a strong textile manufacturing heritage.
“It’s good for the local community, and The AMA Group’s expertise means our customers will be able to buy good quality British-made clothing at great prices from F&F.”
Employee Annmarie Dawson, who was recruited by AMA after 30 years in the industry, said: “Tesco’s F&F range is so well known, so to have secured it as our first client is fantastic.”