AROUND 400 jobs are at risk as Axminster Carpets calls in the administrators.

The East Devon company has today confirmed its intention to appoint administrators while company bosses explore a rescue package.

The company is continuing to trade while it looks into all potential rescue and restructuring options.

A statement from Richard Merrin and Ciara O’Shea, of Spreckley Partners Ltd on behalf of the administrators, said: “Axminster Carpets Limited continues to trade while the company explore all potential rescue/restructuring options.

“The company’s board of director confirm that a notice of intention to appoint administrators has been filed with respect to the company.

“The notice was filed in order to provide the company and its creditors with a moratorium period during which the various rescue options being explored can continue.

“The notice of intention to appoint administrators nominates Benjamin Wiles, Geoff Bouchier and David Whitehouse of Duff & Phelps as joint administrators.”

It is believed the 400 workers were told this morning that their jobs are at risk.

The company’s director, Joshua Dutfield, said: “Trading has been difficult and the management has been working with key suppliers, creditors and the lenders in an attempt to resolve the company's financial difficulties.

“We continue to be committed to working to achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned and most importantly the staff and suppliers.”

The trade union, Community, which represents workers at Axminster Carpets, has launched a campaign to save the company.

The union said it is helping to secure the future of the business and its 400 staff, who are employed across the two sites in Axminster and Buckfast.

Lorraine Gaskell, Community's local full time officer said: "Today's statement has caused great concern amongst the workforce. 

“We will be working closely with the company and the administrator in the days ahead to secure the jobs of all those who work there and to find a solution to the current difficulties.

“Axminster is a renowned national and international brand name. 

“We've launched a 'Save Axminster Carpets' campaign which will also aim to get the local communities involved in the fight to secure the business.”

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