BENDIGO Woollen Mills has finalised the purchase of Australia’s largest woollen mill, making it the biggest manufacturer and distributor of hand-knitting yarn in Australia and New Zealand.
The Bendigo business has purchased the Wangaratta Woollen Mills and associated company Australian Country Spinners.
The Wangaratta mill boasts almost 15 acres in floor space, has four times the sales of Bendigo and produces 2.5 times as much product.
Bendigo Woollen Mills owner and founder Colin Walker said the Wangaratta business was starting to scale down its staff levels in recent times, but he was keen to ensure it had a viable future in Australia.
“I wanted to invest in these iconic Australian yarn brands, so their future as truly Australian Made products is now assured,” he said.
“Our plans for the Wangaratta site are now under review. We will have a better idea of the direction we will take after two months.
“There’s a great sense of history with the Wangaratta Woollen Mills and we will have ongoing plans for it, that could include turning it into a tourist mill.
“In Bendigo, we have been expanding in recent years, adding another warehouse and half-a-dozen more staff.”
Wangaratta Woollen Mills opened in 1923, and manufactures brands including Patons, Cleckheaton, Panda and Shepherd.
Bendigo will manufacture these brands after the full takeover of Australian Country Spinners.