Firms to create up to 70 posts in Thame with new premises plan

Oxford Mail: John Lewis is one of the businesses Groves supplies John Lewis is one of the businesses Groves supplies

UP to 70 jobs could be created in Thame if a major development is approved.

Haberdashery distributor Groves, and print and production house The Windles Group, have applied for a total of 149,000 sq ft of new premises at Cotmorewells Farm on Howland Road.

The firms, based Buckinghamshire, employ 170 people and the development is expected to generate the jobs over the next five years.

Andrew Groves, managing director at Groves, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to remain in the Thame area and avoid the disruption of a move to larger facilities out of the locality.”

Windles Group managing director Bruce Podmore added: “The proposed development will enable us to stay in the local area, ensuring employment opportunities are secured for local people.”

Established in 1966, Groves has grown from a small family business to one of Europe’s major independent distributors of sewing accessories and needlecrafts to retailers including Dunelm Group, Hobbycraft and John Lewis.

The proposed facility will provide Groves with a state-of-the-art distribution centre to improve efficiency and enable continued growth.

The Windles Group specialises in print production in the commercial and retail sectors. The firm is looking to increase its capacity by 40 per cent with the move.

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The development forms part of the Thame Neighbourhood Plan, the first of its kind in the UK to allocate sites for development.

Planning for a 10-acre site was initially outlined by developer Stoford last year.

Dan Gallagher, joint managing director at Stoford, said, “Groves and The Windles Group are both successful, growing businesses and their expansion plans are great news for the economy.’’ A public exhibition of the plans will take place at Thame Town Hall on March 28 from 10am–6.30pm.

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