Funding for UK companies hoping to exhibit at overseas tradeshows has almost doubled for the next two financial years, according to the UK Fashion & Textile Association.
The trade body, which offers support to UK fashion industry exporters, has received a commitment from UK trade and Investment to almost double the money available.
Paul Alger, director of International Business Development at UKFT, said that in previous years the UK Fashion & Textile Association has a budget of around £800,000 but this year he expects it to be around £160,000.
However, this is via an increase in the number of grants to be allocated per company rather than an increase in the budget per se. This means exporters are now entitled to a lifetime allocation of six grants for tradeshows in established markets and six for shows in emerging markets.
The grants themselves have also been increased from £1000 to £1500 per show and exhibitors at key US shows will see grants almost double to £2000. For in emerging markets, such as China, Hong Kong and Russia, companies will be eligible for grants ranging from £2500 to £3000.
Alger said: “We have been lobbying Government for many years to maintain the Tradeshow Access Programme but this is the first time we have seen an increase in the money being allocated to the scheme. It is wonderful news that the Government has listened to our case and allocated additional funding to this vital scheme”.
Shows covered by the grants will continue to key EU and US shows, including Paris Fashion Week, still the most important international showcase for over 300 UK designers, and Curve Lingerie New York, but it has been expanded to include CPM Moscow in August and beyond as well as The Hub, a new menswear event for the Asian market in Hong Kong, and CHIC in Beijing in March 2014.
Alger says: “There has never been a better time for UK fashion and textile to look at new shows and markets. In particular, the grants we can now offer companies for shows in Russia, China and Hong Kong are the most generous we have had for almost 20 years.”