Factory News

Aynsley China back in full production  after a suspected arson attack. Thirty firefighters tackled the blaze which tore through Longton-based Aynsley China in the early hours of November 19, 2008


The fire, which destroyed much of the first floor of the Sutherland Road premises, broke out in a newly-built office block close to the company’s factory shop.

Staff had only moved into the new units the previous month.

Operations director Martin Holmes said that although the blaze caused considerable disruption to the crucial pre-Christmas period, full production will be back up and running after the festive season.

He said: “Production never actually stopped but we did have some disruption to a few services. We’ll be back in full production after Christmas.

“It’s difficult to say at the moment how it will affect us. We’ve just got our computer systems up and running and our telecommunications systems have been out of action.

“Our Christmas business has been affected considerably, even in terms of communication with customers.

“We’ve been getting in contact with our customer base now the systems are back up and running and it’s clear they have been trying to get in touch with us.

“It was the totally wrong time for this to happen, but our employees are all still here and we’re still manufacturing.”

Sue Evans, chief executive of the Ceramic Industry Forum, said she is impressed with the way bosses at Aynsley have picked themselves up after such a setback.

She said: “The fire was a devastating blow for Aynsley but the fact that they are able to get themselves into production so quickly is a great testament to their capabilities.

“It’s no mean feat to put production back together after a major incident like that.”

Three people have been released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of arson.