The Hackney Fashion Hub is launching a stitching academy and apprenticeship scheme in the East London borough.
The academy will provide local designers with a subsidised sampling and manufacturing unit as well as offering customers with a tailored alteration service.
Apprenticeship and training schemes on sewing and stitching, machinery operation, inspecting and measuring, health and safety, and the design and production of textiles, will also form part of the initiative.
The aim of the scheme is to provide affordable sampling and manufacturing of small runs at commercial prices to allow young businesses to compete with more established brands.
Hackney Council is currently considering plans for a manufacturing hub that will provide the home for a stitching academy and new factory outlet shops.
The Hackney Fashion Hub project has already delivered temporary factory outlet shops occupied by Aquascutum, Pringle and Halcyon Days and The Hackney Shop, where local designers have been showcasing and selling their designs since the spring.
Fashion director Caren Downie said: “Our overall mission is to assist in the delivery of business support services, to provide apprenticeship and employment opportunities, support the local supply chain and enable the fashion industry to grow sustainable businesses.”
The plans will create 400 new jobs for local residents working in sales, fashion design, manufacturing, stitching and alterations, catering and hospitality, and security and maintenance.
Construction on the 20,505 sq ft Fashion Hub development will begin in early 2014.