End of chapter for soap firm

MHBG-12-07-12 Bronnley Soaps''Bronnley Soaps, Brackley
MHBG-12-07-12 Bronnley Soaps''Bronnley Soaps, Brackley

As a luxury soap manufacturer in Brackley prepares for a new chapter in its 128 year history, it expressed pride and sadness this week after taking another step towards leaving the town.

H Bronnley & Co moved to Brackley in the early 1950s and has been a benchmark for quality in the toiletries industry since 1884, and currently holds a Royal warrant.

But months after shareholders rescued the firm from administrators it was announced they would outsource manufacturing away from its Radstone Road base, putting around 60 jobs at risk.

A spokesman for the company said as soon as the restructuring was announced they began working with Job Centre Plus to minimise the impact of job losses.

Many have found new jobs while others are pursuing new business ventures as self-employed professionals.

Last Saturday the company held a closing down sale for its factory shop.

The spokesman said: “It was massively well attended. We feel it is a measure of the affection that the local community has for the brand that so many people came out to support the sale. It was a very successful day.

“Bronnley & Co has always been proud to be part of the Brackley community. Many of our staff are local and even during this period of change for the business those who work for us have been committed to and supportive of the brand. Of course we are all sad that the Brackley operation will come to an end later this year but it follows less than 12 months after the business was bought out of administration by shareholders without whose intervention the company would have gone into liquidation with all of the unhappy consequences that would entail.”

Plans to outsource production and warehousing are underway, but it is expected some workers will remain until the end of the year.

Bronnley’s soap and toiletry products continue to be available in retail outlets throughout the UK.

Jan Dean, chairman of Brackley Means Business said she would be sad to see the firm leave but, despite the closure of the factory shop, there was still an air of optimism particularly over the upcoming development on Northampton Road.”