Production is back up and running at Stoke-on-Trent pottery business Emma Bridgewater – after a 10-week break.
The Hanley factory is back operating at almost full capacity after the final group of staff returned to work this week.
An unknown number of the company’s 350 employees had been placed on furlough during the lockdown as the ceramics industry – like many others – came to a halt.
But now all employees are back at work at the Lichfield Street factory which has introduced a number of social distancing measures.
Company owner Emma Bridgewater said: “The factory is coming back to life. Everyone in the business should each and all feel proud of their unique contribution to the team.
“This has all been testing, and the company is flourishing despite all difficulties.”
While the factory is open, the shop, cafe, factory tours and decorating studio remain closed to members of the public.
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A company spokesman said: “The response of everyone across the company has been extremely positive and flexible which has enabled the business to continue operating the distribution centre safely, despatching products throughout to our customers worldwide.
“Trading has been very positive with our new summer designs being extremely popular.
“Everyone at Emma Bridgewater Ltd has pulled together to look after each other and our customers and we hope to reopen our shops towards the end of June.
“We are looking forward to welcoming back customers to the factory café, decorating studio and onto factory tours later in the year when restrictions are relaxed sufficiently to allow this.”
The news from Emma Bridgewater is in stark contrast to that of Steelite International which revealed this week that it ‘cannot confirm’ when it will be fully operational again.