Joy as investors relaunch historic Sheffield scissor firm
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.”