Two former directors of Austin Reed who rescued the manufacturing units of men's wear tailor Chester Barrie say they are planning to expand the business.  

Chester Barrie, one of the longest-established names in British men's tailoring, was forced to call in the receiver earlier this year. Apparel retailer Speciality Retail Group (SRG) bought the Chester Barrie brand, while Colin Evans, former managing director of Chester Barrie, and Ainslie Penson, his sales director, set the remaining business up as the Cheshire Clothing Company.

Six months on, and the business has resigned contracts with Harrods and Saks, is producing clothes for SRG, Oswald Boeteng and Nick Hart, and will move into a new factory in early 2003.
Sales director Richard Elliot believes its newfound success is due to the fact that: "We have no competition. Any designer who wants top-end British tailoring will have to come to us."

The 67year-old firm was bought by Austin Reed in 1978 and sold on to Thomson Holdings two years ago, when falling sales pushed it into receivership.