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.

Friday, 18th September 2020, 12:30 pm

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.

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Linda Furness, quality controller at Chimo Holdings.

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.

Ian Platts, coppersmith, and apprentice Curtis Fowler.

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.

Last year, a student flats developer knocked on the door and made an offer.

Paul Weatherstone - cutler.

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.”

Chris Hudson - chief exec.

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Anne Hodson - quality control - electro etching letter knives.
Phil Benton production manager, piercing spoons with a mechanical press.
Silverware maker Chimo Holdings