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Manchester to become "national home" to textiles

Greater Manchester could become home to low-cost factories as part of plans to revive Britain’s textile industry.

The initiative, which is being spearheaded by Lord David Alliance, Manchester’s Liberal Democrat peer, would create jobs in the area, helping to address the unemployment and skills gaps.

According to reports in the Rochdale Observer council chiefs, retailers, manufacturers and Manchester University have been working with central government on the plans.

Lord Peter Smith, chairman of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “Clearly, all of the Greater Manchester area was once at the heart of a very vibrant industry.

“We have the experience of the industry, the infrastructure, the universities and so on that still have connections with the textiles business – so we think we are an area that could be at the forefront. This would provide a much-wanted jobs boost.

“We want it back as soon as we can, and we want to be ready to take advantage of it.

“We have the history and we now want to see Greater Manchester become the national home for this once again.”

Last week a new report claimed that manufacturing textiles and clothing in the UK is once again commercially viable.

The secretary of state for business, innovation and skills Vince Cable has lent his support to the UK textile manufacturing sector, saying he believes there is huge potential for the industry.

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