What a cop - jobs boost at Exmouth company!

A SELF-taught Exmouth leather tailor, who began as a teenager making his own clothes in the attic, has just scooped a contract to supply the Metropolitan Police’s entire motorcycle division.

Self-made businessman Brian Sansom, founder of BKS, of New North Road, said the contract for leather motorcycle trousers would double his production and lead to at least six new jobs.

Mr Sansom, 46, born and bred in Withycombe, started the business 25 years ago. “I was entirely self-taught,” he said. “It stemmed from when I was a teenager and I made all my own clothes.”

He then turned to cutting and stitching leather suits, fashion leathers and, eventually, leather motorcycle suits for Devon and Cornwall and Dorset Constabularies. BKS now makes motorcycle uniforms for 35 UK police forces.

“I envisage needing six more staff; leather cutters and sewing machinists,” said Brian.

His suits can be seen on the back of World class racers, including the World Superbike Champion in 2004 and 2007, James Toseland, and other well known faces, such as BBC’s MotoGP commentator Steve Parrish, Prince William, Hollywood star Daniel Day Lewis and singer Robbie Williams.

“We have managed to keep full order books for nearly 25 years, with staff levels peaking at 25 around 10 years ago and stabilising at the 15 people employed today.

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“With the current financial climate, orders for more elaborately designed race suits have substantially dropped away.

“So it’s fitting that, in our 25th year, BKS should be awarded a contract with the UK’s largest Police force - one that has more motorcycle riders than the rest of the UK police forces added together.”

Brian said he always employed from the Exmouth area, adding: “When you look at the local paper and there are no more than a dozen jobs advertised in Exmouth at any one time, it’s good to be able to provide work.”