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Investment in UK textile manufacturing to create 20,000 jobs by 2020

The report by the Alliance Project says the industry is worth just under £9 billion to the UK economy, Manchester Evening News reports.

13th February 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Manchester


The report is the biggest study on supply and demand in the textile industry in 20 years and says the industry is worth just under £9 billion to the UK economy and is currently growing, Manchester Evening News (MEN) reports .

Alliance Project

The Alliance Project, based at Manchester economic think tank New Economy, was created to examine the potential for repatriating textiles manufacturing to the UK.

Lord David Alliance, the prominent south Manchester businessman, commissioned the report, with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the government providing support, the newspaper reports.

It comes at the same time as the successful national N Brown Textiles Growth Programme, the first ever textile grant growth programme in British history, led by Manchester based N Brown Group. It has also been supported by others including BIS, Manchester Growth Company, M&S and ASOS.

Textiles Growth Programme

The Textiles Growth Programme received £12.8 million in 2013 from the Regional Growth Fund and created 1,600 jobs and 115 apprenticeship positions in the England in its first year. “We are very supportive of the initiative and, as a retailer headquartered in Manchester, we are delighted by the job creation in the region,” said Angela Spindler, CEO of N Brown Group.

“As a business, we only source a small percentage from the UK, but there is a recognition of the growth potential in textile manufacturing. Retailers are desperate to increase capacity in the UK and this investment fund will allow us as an industry to grow that capacity quicker than we would otherwise have been able to.”

Supported companies

Companies, which received funding from the National N Brown Textiles Growth Programme, include Gledhill, a family owned business that produces made-to-order woollen yarns, Sigmatex, the leading independent carbon fibre weaver, and Grafea, a luxury leather manufacturer, blending traditional British craftsmanship with vintage style and high quality materials.

“This report takes a timely and strategic overview of the sector on behalf of the UK, positioning Greater Manchester and the wider north firmly at the forefront of driving investment into this important growth industry,” said Mike Blackburn, chair of Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership.

“The fact we’ve seen 1,600 jobs created by the N Brown Textiles Growth Programme since its launch back in 2013 is testament to the sheer effort that is going into this project. Not only is it having an impact on textiles but also on the wider supply chain and its governance – informing the approach of Greater Manchester’s Manufacturing, for example.”

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