Retail giant The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has completed its multi-million-pound move to Carlisle and has kicked off the search for an initial 20 new roles.

The group – which owns some of the UK’s most popular fashion, retail and heritage brands – has completed the much-anticipated move of its headquarters from Langholm to Cumbria’s capital and revealed plans for the city to be at the centre of its national and international growth.

More than 200 people are based at the new, purpose-designed 30,000sqft office called Global House, at 5 Castle Street, which is now up and running following an 18-month refit and modernisation.

The office is home to teams ranging from product designers, product technologists, buying and merchandising to e-commerce, marketing, human resources, finance and operations, and boast a mock shop, photography studio and high-tech server room powering hundreds of its stores.

And the group is wasting no time filling up the extra capacity for 100 more members of staff by kicking off a recruitment drive for 20 new roles, spanning most of departments and experience levels.

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group managing director Jason Anderson said Carlisle’s location, along with the company’s historic connections to the city, made it a perfect place to plot its ambitious growth plans.

It already employs 120 at its global distribution centre in the city at Kingmoor Park, which opened in 2002, while English Street was home to one of The Edinburgh Woollen Mill's first stores.

“We are proud to call Carlisle our new home and we very much hope that our move into the city will be seen by other large national and international businesses as a vote of confidence in Carlisle and its people,” he told in-Cumbria.

“We are keen to encourage other companies to follow our lead and take advantage of the outstanding location, infrastructure and culture of Carlisle.

"It is a privilege to be in this proud, historic city, and it's something we don't take lightly; as a truly national and international retail company, we will carry the flag of Carlisle across the rest of the UK – and world.

"We are committed to the city for the long term. Carlisle will support our truly global ambitions and aspirations. We intend to continue to grow, creating more jobs for Carlisle people for years, and indeed decades, to come."

Over the last decade, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has transformed from a well-loved high-street chain to one of the fastest-growing retail and fashion empires, which includes other popular brands Peacocks, Ponden Home, Austin Reed, Viyella, Country Casuals, Jacques Vert, Windmoor, Lambretta, and Jaeger.

It has been one of the stand-out success stories on the high street at a time when the retail sector has suffered multiple casualties, affecting stores and jobs across the UK and in Cumbria.

But The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group said it is forging ahead with plans to grow its empire – which includes more than 1,000 stores and concessions employing 24,000 around the world – with Carlisle firmly at the centre of activity.

To coincide with the move, it is now looking to recruit 20 new roles, including a new head of marketing, payroll clerks, buying assistants, allocators, a trainee fabric and colour technologist, and a retail business analyst.

They will join a team responsible for managing products and stores across a number of the group's brands, which also include Isle, PG Field, James Pringle and specialist golfing apparel label ProQuip.

Carol Kershaw, the company’s group HR director, said she hoped Carlisle’s location and transport links – including the West Coast Mainline – would help attract talent, as well as make the office more accessible to business partners and suppliers.

"We are recruiting across a range of different roles that are needed to support an exciting, fast-moving national retail business,” she said.

“These roles are across all different levels of experience and departments.

"Long-term thinking is built into our DNA as a company, and we're proud to say that some members of our team have been with us for more than 40 years.

"We are passionate about providing people with training and career development opportunities to build a long-term career in the Group."

Colin Glover, leader of Carlisle City Council, said he was delighted that The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group had chosen Carlisle for its headquarters.

He praised council officers for working closely with the group to press home the advantages of being in the city and remaining in the wider Borderlands area.

“It has secured jobs within the Borderlands region and has rejuvenated a redundant city centre building,” said Coun Glover.

“The investment and associated footfall is a significant boost to the city centre and will support our local economy. Carlisle is a growing city and is a great place for businesses to be based.

“We hope that The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group continues to grow.”

To find out about opportunities at Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, click here