Royal restorer rolls out the red carpet for growth
A carpet and tapestry conservation specialist with clients including the Royal Collection, English Heritage and Portsmouth’s D-Day Story museum is set to double in size after a £200,000 investment programme, supported with £80,000 facility from Lloyds Bank Business Banking.
Jonathan Tetley, of the Tetley Workshop Textile Conservation Cleaning Facility, has bought his firm’s premises in Tisbury, Wiltshire, with plans to expand and invest in specialised equipment.
The business has been cleaning, repairing, conserving and restoring rare and valuable carpets and tapestries since it was founded more than 20 years ago. It employs up to 13 contractors, depending on the project.
The investment is set to create two new full-time jobs and the workshop will also aim to train young people in conservation skills through an internship programme funded by the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art.
Tetley Conservation Facility is overseeing the cleaning and repair of the Agra carpet at Windsor Castle, reputedly the largest handmade carpet in the world, as well as textiles in Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Chatsworth House. It also works with stately homes across the UK, including Brodsworth Hall in Yorkshire and Drumlanrig Castle, Scotland.
Now company founder and senior conservator Jonathan is investing to help his business grab a bigger slice of the UK market from competitors based in Europe.
He said: “The funding will go towards a £100,000 specialised washing facility which will enable us to clean tapestries and other textiles more far efficiently.
“We will also install a mezzanine floor at our premises and the extra space will mean we can increase both the range of services we offer and our capacity.
“It means we’ll have separate areas for repairing and cleaning, making the whole operation far more efficient.
“At the moment, many tapestries are sent to Europe for the kind of specialised care we offer and this investment will enable us to compete for that work and keep it in the UK.”
Tetley Conservation Facility currently posts revenues of around £66,000, which is forecast to triple within four years.
Jonathan added: “This country has an extraordinary wealth of historic textiles, so it would be great to have a well-established facility that can ensure these pieces are looked after and preserved properly, and a pipeline of passionate conservators with the specialist skills to do the job.”
Jane Hazzard, Local Business Development Manager at Lloyds Bank Business Banking based in Dorset, said: “Tetley Conservation Facility is a fantastic example of a highly-skilled British business that has built an unrivalled reputation operating in a very niche industry.
“We’re expecting to lend £1.5bn to South West businesses over the course of 2020 to help them realise their growth ambitions. We’ll continue to be by the side of companies in the South West as part of our commitment to help Britain prosper.”