Ref Number: 85
Ref Number: 85
The establishment of the initial cotton spinning plant in Varna following the Liberation period occurred with the collaboration of Anglo-Bulgarian investors. The positioning of its location is not arbitrary, but rather aligns with the city’s capacity as the primary hub for maritime trade in the nation, complemented by the presence of a readily accessible train station.
Prior to the Balkan Wars, cotton cultivation was not practiced in Bulgaria, resulting in the factory’s complete reliance on imported raw materials for its production. Furthermore, the yarns manufactured in Bulgaria are primarily intended for domestic consumption rather than industrial purposes, necessitating their distribution across the entire nation.
The cotton spinning mill was strategically constructed adjacent to the preexisting railway station, and has maintained its own railway network since its establishment, connecting to many locations in the surrounding rural areas. The concession to establish a factory was granted in 1896, following the enactment of the Law on the Promotion of Local Industry. This concession was awarded to multiple individuals, including Nikola Hadjipoulo, Konstantin Bebis, Stefan Simeonov, Ivan Simeonov, among others. Subsequently, the concession was transferred to an English company based in Manchester, known as “National cotton spinning of Bulgaria ltd.” In Bulgaria, this company operated under the name “Prince Boris” First Bulgarian Anonymous Privileged Company for Cotton Yarns.
The Varna municipality has granted the corporation a parcel of land measuring 10,000 square metres for the purpose of constructing factory structures. The joint-stock firm possesses a capital of BGN 1,500,000, with 2/3 of the capital being of English origin and the remaining 1/3 originating from Bulgaria. The anticipated profitability of the inaugural Bulgarian cotton yarn plant is substantial enough to attract the involvement of notable figures such as Prince Ferdinand, for whom the business is named after his eldest son, as well as other major politicians and industrialists from Bulgaria.
The building of large-scale, technologically advanced factories is a characteristic feature of the growth and expansion of the cotton textile sector in our nation. The primary contributing factor can be attributed to the implementation of the customs taxes in the year 1904. The report on the Varna District for the year of 1903-1904 documented the heightened level of foreign rivalry that the enterprise known as “Prince Boris” encountered during its initial years of operation.
The establishment of the “Prince Boris” cotton spinning mill in 1898 marked the initiation of the textile industry in the Varna district. The factory’s substantial capital investment, workforce size, and installed capacities position it as the leading textile industry in Bulgaria. In 1904, the factory’s fixed capital investment was BGN 1,644,232, which significantly above the average investment of BGN 146,145 per firm observed in other companies across the country.
During its initial stages, the plant had a workforce of 560 individuals, which exceeded the average number of employees in textile enterprises during the early 1900s by more than tenfold. The steam engine of the textile firm possessed a considerable power output of 700 horsepower, surpassing the typical power capacity of similar textile enterprises in the country before to the occurrence of the Balkan Wars. The plant is equipped with a total of 12,500 spindles.
Following the year 1902, there was a notable decrease in the workforce size due to an enhancement in the qualifications of the workers. Therefore, by 1903, the workforce consisted of approximately 350-400 individuals, and this demographic makeup remained unchanged until the onset of the Balkan Wars. The quantity of yarn manufactured in 1900 amounted to 711,476 kg. By 1911, the factory’s production had escalated to approximately 1,500,000 kg of cotton yarn, signifying a notable enhancement in labour productivity. This quantity adequately fulfils the domestic demand for yarn inside the country.
The firm underwent a name change in 1925, being known as the “Tsar Boris” Joint Stock Company. Subsequently, in 1943, it was further renamed as “Hristo Botev”. During the 1920s, the capital city had a period of governance characterised by the involvement of both Bulgarian and Italian entities.
The construction of the factory is executed through a series of sequential stages. During the latter half of the 19th century, the primary manufacturing section was constructed, encompassing various facilities such as warehouses and a steam plant featuring a chimney, among others. In the following years, there were extensions and the construction of supplementary structures. The red bricks utilised in the construction of the buildings were sourced from England.