The textile industry received a boost today as the government granted the N Brown-led Textiles Growth Programme and delivery body Economic Solutions around £19.5m to promote business growth and skills provision.
The money, awarded today, is part of the sixth round of the Regional Growth Fund investment, which has seen nearly £300m invested to help regional businesses grow. The investment for the textiles industry will be predominantly focused on businesses in the Northwest and East Midlands.
It is the second such investment for the textiles programme, which received £12.8m in 2013. This has so far been granted to 94 companies across the Northwest including weaver AW Hainsworth and manufacturer Cooper & Stollbrand.
The investment came after the N Brown chairman Lord David Alliance-led Alliance Project published a report which found the growing UK textile industry – which also includes the production of textiles for non-apparel uses – is worth £9bn to the economy and could create up to 20,000 new jobs in the next five to 10 years if businesses are supported to capitalise on a trend towards the repatriation of manufacturing.
The report calls for: a national database of manufacturers to help domestic and foreign buyers source here; greater government and trade body support for UK businesses at trade fairs; a focus on changing out-dated perceptions of the industry in schools to attract a younger workforce; and steps to address late payments for suppliers.
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