Private equity firm Oakfield backs growth at Sudbury-based Gainsborough Silk Weaving

Private equity group Oakfield Capital Partners has completed a new investment in the Gainsborough Si

Private equity group Oakfield Capital Partners has completed a new investment in the Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company, based in Sudbury. - Credit: Archant

Private equity group Oakfield Capital Partners has added the Sudbury-based Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company to its investments.

Gainsborough, which was established in 1903, has supplied fabrics to a number of royal palaces and state buildings over the years and in 1980 was awarded a Royal Warrant.

Oakfield’s investment, the value of which has not been disclosed, is intended to help the firm to capitalise on its extensive archive of designs by boosting its marketing efforts around the world, including the United States and the Middle East.

David Sentance, who has 25 years’ experience in the fabrics industry, has been appointed managing director of the company. He said: “I am very excited to be joining Gainsborough. The combination of our highly capable workforce, the expansive archive of designs compiled over the last century, and our new investment will give us the opportunity to bring new collections to the market, provide excellent service to our customers, and to grow our business significantly.”

Russell Sage, a director at since 2013, has now assumed the role of creative director. He said: “I’m thrilled that Gainsborough has found such a strong and imaginative partner in Oakfield Capital Partners.

“I remain passionately committed to the great craftsmen and traditional manufacturing businesses in the UK. My relationship with Gainsborough has been ongoing for many years and with Oakfield Capital Partners’ shrewd investment, the business is on the verge of an incredible revolution which will keep and respect the very best of its history, whilst exploring the wider opportunities that the business can now pursue.”

Michael Patton of Oakfield, who has also joined the Gainsborough board, added: “We believe that this unique British business has the potential to sell its product globally.

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“By leveraging its heritage product and manufacturing facility with financial resource and great people, we are confident that Gainsborough will grow quickly.”