Textile industry flourishing in Lancashire

The textile industry in Lancashire is thriving, according to the interim findings of the Textiles Growth Programme, which highlight that 39 textiles manufacturing business across Lancashire invested £8 million in the programme over four years, which has helped create nearly 380 new jobs, safeguard nearly 150 more and create 24 apprenticeships.



 The Textiles Growth Programme research showed that textile production in the UK was worth more than £9.1 billion, a £200 million increase from 2014 to 2016. Exports of UK fashion and textiles increased by 28 per cent since 2012, and 26 per cent was exported outside EU, according to a report in the Lancashire Business View.
 
The industry now has the potential to add 10,000 new jobs and £500 million more to the UK's economy each year by 2020, the report said.
 
David Hardman, chairman of Accrington-based textiles firm Lantex which employs 30 people, has invested £100,000 in modernising his factory, was quoted in the report as saying, "We have also recently helped set up Textile Academy in Burnley to teach sewing and help fill a skills gap with £45,000 of funding from the Fund. Sewing is a skill for life. It's a flexible career as people can even work from home if they have a family."
 
"This area's prosperity was founded on the textile industry. It's our heritage and in our blood. Despite overseas competition we continue to manufacture for both the domestic and international markets. We're proud of this and the Textile Academy will ensure we continue to thrive by providing a trained workforce for the future," Hardman said.
 
Lorna Fitzsimons, founder and director of the Textiles Growth Programme said, "Five years ago, Lord Alliance challenged Sir Vince Cable, the then secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, to recognise the opportunity for increasing UK fashion and textiles manufacturing. This started us on a journey which led to the most extensive study on supply and demand for UK fashion and textiles manufacturing in decades. There is still more to do but this is a success story no one saw coming."
 
Cable, who commissioned the work, added: "The textile industry was widely thought to be extinct in the UK, but some outstanding entrepreneurs, using new technology plus modest Government help under coalition industrial strategy, have turned things around. Reshoring is real and growing."

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