Joy as investors relaunch historic Sheffield scissor firm

Eric Stones, of Ernest Wright and Son, with the famous Kutrites.
Eric Stones, of Ernest Wright and Son, with the famous Kutrites.

Production has restarted at tragedy-hit Sheffield scissor brand Ernest Wright & Sons after the assets were snapped up by two fans from Holland.

In a move which will delight the firm’s legions of supporters, Paul Jacobs and Jan-Bart Fanoy have revived operations at the factory on Broad Lane.

Four members of staff, including veteran craftsmen Cliff Denton and Eric Stones, and a new worker, are on site. The first sales of new products are expected in November, The Star can reveal. Ernest Wright & Sons closed after 116 years following the tragic suicide of boss Nick Wright.

The firm had struggled to fulfil an avalanche of orders for its classic Kutrite kitchen scissors after a crowdfunding appeal went viral in 2016.

More than 2,000 people invested in a pair - including Mr Jacobs - but it is understood only a quarter were delivered before the firm became insolvent and ceased trading in June.

Mr Jacobs said they had bought the Kutrite and Ernest Wright & Sons brands, machinery, forged blanks and designs from the receiver, and had taken out a new lease on the premises.

He added: “We wanted to keep heritage alive. We should not throw away good quality things and this is a good quality thing.

“In software it’s never tangible. I have no knowledge of making scissors. But I wanted a product I could feel and touch.

“We have had an enormous reaction from Sheffield people who are just happy about it - and now I have my scissors!”

Mr Jacobs stressed the new organisation had no responsibility for the old company and its liabilities, including the outstanding Kutrite orders.

He added: “We know there has been disappointment. If you read all the comments people are saying, ‘I don’t mind if I have to pay again’. But it is too early to say what will happen there.”

Now, machines are being repaired and the workshop cleaned up. And the scissor-making process is being mapped so it could be improved.

The aim was to drive up quality even further.

He added: “The scissors will be very high quality and probably double the price.”