The Town Taking on China

Published on 3rd April 2016 by

A 2012 two part BBC documentary which follows the attempt of British cushion entrepreneur Tony Caldeira to bring back some of his companies manufacturing from China. He owns two factories, one in Kirkby near Liverpool and another in China. The process that he underwent to move production to China in order to ensure his businesses survival was documented in the 2006 documentary Brits Get Rich In China.

The decision to move production to China was one which was necessary to ensure his companies survival, but now fast rising costs in China – particularly the cost of wages – has led him to test the idea of bringing some jobs back to his facility in the UK.

His biggest challenge is finding new British employees willing and able to work in a physical demanding and low paid manufacturing job, teaching young people the old art of sewing with machine and then retaining those staff despite paying the UK minimum wage. Will he succeed in proving that manufacturing jobs can return to Britain, or will the Chinese factory win out?

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