AN EMBROIDERY firm has sailed its way to a contract worth £20,000 to clothe the staff of a cruise ship.

Saga’s 18-tonne holiday cruiser, The Quest, has more than 250 employees and each will be wearing a uniform created by Coniston Corporate Embroidery when it relaunches next year.

The uniform and merchandise contract is the latest of a string of orders for the home-grown Coniston firm, which has announced an 18 per cent rise in business this year.

Paul Reilly, 35, formed the firm 10 years ago and now has 2,000 clients who pay for logos and personalised products put together by 15 staff at the Lakeland premises.

Four machinists from Millom have completed recent orders for Sheffield University, Manchester University, Lancaster University, South Cumbria River Trust, Low Sizergh Barn, Bowness venue Storres Hall and sports clubs across the county.

Mr Reilly said they were already using all available space at their secluded premises by the lake, since the company moved from Lake Road industrial estate, Coniston, five years ago.

“We’ve got a minimum order of one and that’s won us a lot of custom through word of mouth.

“Every school, hotel, factory, office and sports club is a potential customer for us and whenever I’m travelling across the country I collect their names to call them — most of our work comes from companies we’ve approached, so spotting like this has paid off.

“I enjoy my work and the business has grown every year. The competitive nature of beating last year’s figures motivates me.”

Mr Reilly said the firm, which also creates the uniforms for many Cumbrian schools, including Queen Katherine and Kirbie Kendal Schools in Kendal, and Dallam School in Milnthorpe, expects to expand in future with a building extension and more staff.