On July 12, W Pearce and Co (Northampton) Limited announced that they were to cease production and consequently all employees entered into a 30-day consultation period with the strong possibility that they would all be made redundant. There are currently 75 employees.

The company say they are talking to a third party tanner who is interested in purchasing assets and using the site to establish their own manufacturing operation. Some 25 jobs could be in the offing as a result.

Earlier talks with Connollys are said to have broken down because Pearce’s equipment is not suitable for their type of production.

The tannery, established in 1908 and located at the Billing Park site since 1937, incorporates Pearce Leather, Pebody Leather, Pearce Tandy Leathercraft and the merchandising operation A J Van den Berghe.

The company have been losing money for a number of years and it was felt that this could no longer be sustained from company reserves. Losses were substantially reduced last year but this year, with major markets either in recession or heading that way, the company witnessed a dramatic reduction in orders.

The effects of BSE and FMD allied to the strength of sterling have all hindered the company’s recovery. Traditionally business has been strongly allied to the fashion seasons but now, at a time when the company should be busy, orders are at a very low level.

The company are known internationally for their printed leathers and possess a huge collection of embossing plates which should prove to be a great asset in any future sale.