A DARWEN factory which makes textile products for top chain John Lewis is recruiting up to 30 new staff.

Herbert Parkinson, at Harvest Mill, Monton Road, has launched the recruitment drive as it gears up for its peak period in the months leading up to Christmas.

The company, which opened in 1935 and became part of the John Lewis Partnership in 1953, needs new ‘partners’ to deal with an increase in demand in the run-up to Christmas.

The firm has already recruited 27 people in the past 12 months, taking its full-time staff levels to 252.

Herbert Parkinson is a company owned by its staff, who are known as partners, and they receive a bonus based on the company’s profits every March, amounting to 15 per cent of their salary.

They also receive a variety of other benefits including subsidised cinema tickets and other discounts.

Managing director Stuart McDonald said: “It is an exciting time for us.

“The place is buzzing and our partners are well up for this challenge and are really engaged.

“I am proud to be managing director here and it is a quality job. For the future I am very much looking forward to driving the growth of Herbert Parkinson with the John Lewis Partnership.”

Mr McDonald said those staff taken on would initially be on fixed term contracts but there were opportunities for full-time positions.

He added: “There are always opportunities because we are in a growth period.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for people in the borough to come along and have the chance to work in a John Lewis branch and also have the opportunity to shine and become a partner in the business.”

Most staff at the firm start their career at the company unskilled and are trained to work across its different departments.

The firm has expanded with two new departments recently, producing branded cushion covers and providing materials for John Lewis’ new ‘Any Shape, Any Fabric’ range, which requires thousands of different styles to be available.