Start-rite, the UK-based children's footwear manufacturer and retailer, is to make over a quarter of its employees redundant this September when it moves its cutting and stitching operations to India.

One hundred of its 375 staff will lose their jobs. The company will however continue to assemble shoes in the UK.

Start-rite chairman, David White, blamed the exchange rate, the general rise in manufacturing costs allied with falling prices in the market, and the collapse of the UK's manufacturing infrastructure for the redundancies.

"This is a very sad situation for us, but a commercial reality. If steps are not taken now to provide a more promising basis for the future, we believe that Start-rite will simply price itself out of the market," he said.

Cutting and stitching will be taken over by Shoetek, Start-rite's long-standing partner in India. Hilary Shanks, PR manager for the company, said: "We have been working with this factory for 10 years and have tied it into a very tight contract, so there are no fears about working conditions."