TWO historic Rossendale shoe companies are to be immortalised thanks to a new footwear firm set up by a former Dragons’ Den contestant.
Stacksteads entrepreneur Tim Smith, who failed to secure a £300,000 investment from the Dragons in 2011, has launched Goodwin Smith, named after two of the Valley’s most successful shoemakers.
Mr Smith said he hoped to create ‘a heritage brand that harks back to the truly British tradition of quality shoemaking’.
Goodwin Smith will be tied to The Bacup Shoe Company, based at Atherton Holme Mill, in Railway Street, Stacksteads.
The firm promised that each pair of its formal and smart casual British-designed brogues will take a month to make, and come with the wearer’s choice of coloured laces.
Mr Smith, who will act as managing director, said: “We wanted to create a brand that celebrates the heritage and success of two great British shoemakers.
“We have taken traditional men’s styles, and updated them for a modern finish, and the range rep-resents excellent value for money.”
In a nod to Rossendale’s shoe-making history, Goodwin Smith’s logo will be a stag’s head.
And product names will include the likes of New-church Brown and Hargreaves Black.
The company is named after former Manchester City footballer, Ernest ‘Ernie’ Goodwin, who created The Bacup Shoe Company in 1928, and one of his contemporaries, Walter Smith, a well-respected and highly-skilled shoemaker at the nearby Newchurch Boot and Shoe Company.
Walter’s grandson, Steven Smith, joined forces with the Goodwin family in 1990, and remains a major shareholder of The Bacup Shoe Company.
It continues to supply to retailers worldwide, with past and present clients including Clarks, Russell & Bromley, Harrods, and Galeries Lafayette.
Last year, it landed a major coup when it secured a contract to design shoes bearing the logo and pictures of the chart-topping boy band, One Direction.