Glass firm's new attraction

A FAMOUS Torrington company that went into receivership during difficult trading conditions last year is now fighting back under new owners with an ambitious expansion plan.

Dartington Crystal is the biggest UK manufacturer of glassware and currently employs around 100 people in its Torrington complex.It annually welcomes a quarter of a million visitors to experience the creation of hand-made glass and to take home its unique products.Now they will find even more attractions to enthral them and a greatly expanded range of glassware and giftware to purchase.Since coming under the umbrella of US corporation Enesco a year ago, the company has embarked on a programme of change both to increase its range of products and to build on its appeal to visitors.While the traditional Dartington crystal ware maintains its place and its worldwide reputation, the company is now offering a range of other choices to meet changes in the demanding modern market and changes in lifestyle.Alongside the Dartington name there is now that of Royal Brierley.The 300-year-old company, renowned for its cut crystal, has also come under the Enesco umbrella in recent months.

They have added new designs for everyday use in lower priced drink ware and gift ranges in glass from Eastern European countries, along with a new exciting art glass range called Innovate, which offers bright fashionable colours and shapes from Poland and China.

In addition to these new ranges, which have been designed by the Dartington team, they have now become distributors for two European manufacturers

From Germany there is a famous and long-established company called Nachtmann which produces 24 per cent lead crystal, which is mainly machine-made.

Dartington also distributes fused formed glass in a contemporary style from Portugal, which is new to the UK. This latter company designs and manufactures in Portugal and also offers a wide range of coloured glass jewellery. Together they offer more choices in design, style, colour and, importantly, in price.

All these and a wide range of other giftware are being offered in an enlarged and refurbished warehouse clearance store, which opened for the first time on Monday.

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600450 Glass firm's new attraction

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