Coronavirus: Burnley textiles firm making face masks instead of duvets

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Lancashire TextilesImage source, stephen ambrose
Image caption,
Lancashire Textiles usually makes duvets, pillows and mattresses

A textiles firm is switching some of its production to face masks and wipe-clean pillows.

Lancashire Textiles, which usually makes duvets, pillows and mattresses, feared it might have to close or make staff redundant unless it made changes during the coronavirus crisis.

The Burnley company employs 35 people and has an annual turnover of £5m.

Sales manager Steve Aspey said jobs would have gone at the company "but for this diversification".

Lancashire Textiles, which was formed in 2001 and distributes to the UK and across Europe, is making 2,000 face masks a week, but expects that number to increase.

The firm is also making the same wipe-clean products it manufactured during the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

"As with most manufacturing businesses, we are struggling with the downturn caused by the Covid-19 virus and are looking for all the support we can get to maintain the company and its employees," Mr Aspey said.

"Some of our production has been switched to face masks and wipe-clean only products, which we also supplied during the Ebola outbreak to help bolster levels of production.

"This is something we can do due to the flexible nature of our manufacturing and the expertise of our workforce."