Clarks is mulling the closure of its factory in Somerset less than two years after it opened.

The footwear retailer has placed the factory’s 49 staff into a 30-day consultation after it failed to meet manufacturing and cost targets.

The multimillion-pound factory only launched in 2017. Clarks said at the time it would produce 300,000 pairs of desert boots a year for the business.

The robot-assisted facility is one of the last Clarks British bases left.

In 2005, the 200-year-old brand moved its Cumbria factory to East Asia, leaving just its head offices, also in Somerset.

A Clarks spokesman told The Times: “Despite best efforts, we have determined that the levels of production and cost targets we hoped for will not be reached in the short to medium term. We are therefore proposing to cease production and close the facility.”

Clarks is one of the UK’s biggest private companies with 533 stores across Britain and Ireland and nearly 1,000 shops around the world.