Sheffield cutlery company secured with £10,000 grant after tip-off from The Star
The boss of a 270-year-old cutlery company has thanked The Star for information worth £10,000.
Chris Hudson, of Chimo Holdings, received David Walsh’s email business bulletin warning the Covid grant scheme was closing the next day - and stayed late into the evening to apply for it.
The cash dropped into the company’s account this week. It will help ensure its survival until next year, Mr Hudson said.
Chimo is one of just six cutlery companies left in Sheffield.
It owns the names and assets of several that fell by the wayside over the years including William Yates, established in 1750, and Tricketts of Sheffield, formed in 1880.
Mr Hudson said: “If The Star hadn’t sent me the email, there’s no question, I wouldn’t have applied. The grant takes the pressure off. I don’t have to look at redundancies at the moment and it will see us to the other side of Christmas.
“There were days when I thought of selling up - but that would be another cutlery company gone.”
The firm wasn’t eligible when the scheme opened, he believes, and the rules had changed when he later applied.
As well as cutlery, the firm makes platters, salvers and trays and prestigious sporting trophies. Workers are highly skilled and take pride in traditional techniques.
About a fifth of business is repairing treasured heirlooms from around the world - with dishwashers the most common culprit, damaging ivory and bone handles.
The company was based on Eyre Lane off The Moor. The factory, built in 1947, was blackened by swarf, soot and buffing compound, and cramped.
Last year, a student flats developer knocked on the door and made an offer.
Chris accepted and the company relocated to premises on Carlisle Street. The extra space allowed a more efficient set-up and to bring machines back from storage, he said.
But moving across town was a ‘horrendous’ six-month process. It was completed just two weeks before lockdown.
Staff were furloughed from March to May but all 14 are now back.
Chris said: “Having gone through this big move I wasn’t going to let it fail - and the £10,000 is a buffer. Thank you.”