THE Axminster Mayor and East Devon District Council deputy leader said he ‘remains optimistic’ that something can be done to salvage Axminster Carpets.

Coun Andrew Moulding has reacted to news that one of the district’s oldest and most respected employers is intending to appoint administrators.

The company, formed in 1755 and a global brand in the supply of carpets to sitting rooms, board rooms, hotel rooms and even airlines, trains and shipping lines, announced today that it is in financial difficulties.

Coun Moulding said: “This is extremely sad and troubling news from so many standpoints.

“As an Axminster councillor I am terribly disappointed that a company that has taken the name of our historic town into thousands of homes and businesses all over the world should have succumbed to the economic ills that beset so many companies during these difficult global trading conditions.

“As Mayor, I am aware of the effect this will have on Axminster as a town and a community, and the impact on the individuals and families who have been such loyal and long-standing employees of this family business.

“I also feel for the Dutfield family, who have been such good employers and are victims of a global recession.

“I am desperately sorry for the hard-working employees of the company, who now find their employment under threat.

“EDDC wants to see a thriving economy in East Devon and we will do anything we can do assist the company in these difficult times.

“Of course, we should not lose heart. The company is intending to appoint administrators and that means there is good reason to hope that it can be saved and continue trading, albeit in a different format, into the future.

“The next few days and weeks will be crucial and whilst I sympathise with the current plight of the employees and directors, I remain optimistic that something can be salvaged to ensure that this iconic name, so synonymous with quality and resilience, continues for many years to come.”