British footwear brand has announced it will be bringing its shoe production back to the UK with the opening of a new factory in Somerset, where the company was founded in 1825.
The factory is expected to open early next year, creating around 80 new technical and managerial jobs, and will use robot-assisted technology to make shoes.
The company started out producing footwear in the UK but moved operations overseas in 2005. The last Clarks factory in the UK closed in 2006 and desert boots are currently made in Vietnam and India.
Production expansion is also planned across the US, Europe, and Asia in the next few years.
Chief executive Mike Shearwood said: “We are delighted to be bringing shoe manufacturing back to the UK and creating a significant number of highly skilled jobs. Clarks is changing and as a global business we need to innovate and respond to the changing global economic order – Clarks is thinking big and innovating to ensure we are fit for the future and at the forefront of shoemaking, whilst being able to adapt to an ever-changing world.”
Clarks expects the facility in Street to produce up to 300,000 desert boots a year.