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Textiles giant Wolsey leaving Leicester after 250 years in the city

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## ## Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeThe business, once a key part of the city and county’s famous hosiery industry, is relocating its warehousing operation from New Star Road, in Thurmaston, to Northamptonshire.

It is understood that less than 20 posts are affected with some members of staff said to be taking redundancy.

Today, the business sells a range of menswear ranging from underwear and socks to polo shirts, jumpers, jackets and golfing clothes.

Read MoreA Wolsey spokeswoman said: “As normal business practice, we recently conducted a review of our operations.

“This review highlighted that to position the business for continued long term success, we would be best served by exercising a release clause that existed within our lease agreement.

“As such, we have taken the decision to cease operations at our Leicester property, and relocate to a distribution centre that is better suited to the company needs, based in Northamptonshire.

“As part of this process, all existing colleagues were offered the opportunity for continued employment.

“We are saddened to leave Leicester, however our Leicestershire heritage will always be part of our brand DNA.”

are people who have worked for the business in Leicester for 50 years Wolsey moved to New Star Road in 2004 after almost 100 years in landmark factory opposite Abbey Park.

The business is owned by the same Hargreaves family that built the Matalan empire.

Someone with close links to the business told the Mercury that staff had been told of the plans a few months ago.

Read More(Image: Dave King)

The business can trace its Leicester heritage back to 1755, incorporating new technologies in the 19th century, including steam technology.

By 1883 the Wolsey was the biggest hosiery manufacturer in the city, even gaining the highest award for hosiery at the Chicago Great World Fair.

The Wolsey name was inspired by the powerful ecclesiastic and statesman Cardinal Wolsey, who was buried in Leicester.

Wolsey underwear was worn by Captain Scott and the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and their teams during their 1911 race to reach the South Pole, and in 1919 Wolsey underwear was also supplied to Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Read MoreMeet our Heroes of Leicestershire 2017 and read their stories of courage, compassion and dedication

In 1910, a 2.5 acre factory was built in Leicester’s Abbey Meadows in Leicester, and during the Great War, 75 per cent of production from the company seven factories 18 million pieces of underwear, jerseys and scarves went to British and Allied troops.

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