DON’T abandon us – that is the message from workers at Axminster Carpets.

Staff remain positive about the future of the East Devon company after it last week confirmed its intention to appoint administrators.

Workers and trade union representatives took to the streets on Saturday to launch the ‘Save Axminster Carpets’ campaign.

The company is continuing to trade while it looks into all potential rescue and restructuring options and staff have stressed it is business as usual.

Community union secretary Derek Banker, who has worked at Axminster Carpets for 20 years, said: “Even though things are being done behind the scenes we are still open for business.

“We don’t want customers to think we are not open and not buy carpets because that will make things worse.

“We just need the country to know we are open and don’t abandon us.”

Mr Banker said they were ‘absolutely amazed’ by the response from the public on Saturday when hundreds of workers and their families rallied in Axminster town centre.

They collected signatures on their petition, which calls on the Government to save the historic firm by supporting the carpet industry in the country.

They gathered outside the Guildhall before parading through the town following a lorry.

Mr Banker said: “We want to give the petition to our local Conservative MP Neil Parish to pass on and debate, asking the Government to help the carpet industry in this country and keep contracts in the country.

“It’s not just the carpet factory that will be affected – it will have a knock-on effect for other towns too.

“Saturday was only the start of our campaign, we are going to all the surrounding towns like Seaton and Lyme.”

The petition can be signed online at