Underwear and hosiery manufacturer Challioner and Walker is to axe all UK production this summer with the loss of 18 jobs as it looks to source overseas instead, it was revealed on Monday.

The Bolton-based company, owned by Caldwell Investments Plc, has placed its 18 production staff on a three-month notice but has not revealed which country it plans to move production to, This Is Bolton reported.

GMB union official Graham Wells, who represents the firms employees, told the paper: "If they were moving production to another EU country, they would be getting a much bigger pay-out and negotiations would have gone on for longer.

"This government is not doing enough to make it harder for firms to move their operations abroad where, at the moment, they can have goods manufactured much cheaper."