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Community Renewal Fund Garment & Textile Support Launch


The manager of the FC Fashion Technology Academy (Leicester), Jackie Bertram, talks about the launch meeting of the Community Renewal Fund programme attended by 25 Leicester based manufacturers and businesses…

‘It was great to launch the Leicester Community Renewal Fund (CRF) on 9th February at the FC Fashion Technology Academy  (Leicester). 

‘The project has received £500,000 from the UK government to support Leicester’s garment and textile industry. The fund is to support the reposition and regrowth of Leicester’s garment and textile industry through a programme practical initiatives.  

‘This is a  joint partnership approach from Leicester City Council, De Montfort University and Fashion-Enter Ltd and the overarching outcome of the program is to create a sustainable, ethical and transparent supply chain and to support Leicester and its garment workers. Fashion-Enter will be leading on the Skills, Compliance and Capability Programmes. 

‘The launch event was attended by 25 Leicester businesses that are involved within the textile industry. 

‘It was a really engaging session; Altaf Ahmed LCC Business support Manager opened the session with an overview of the CRF program. Jenny Holloway CEO Fashion-Enter, then gave an overview of her company and emphasised how challenging it is for manufacturers at the moment, however, there is real opportunity for onshore manufacturing and innovation.

‘I then provided insight into how the retail climate has changed for good and how by embracing product diversification, speed and partnerships we can combat the change. 

‘Caroline Ash and Mark Randall provided  a really informative overview of how technology, the Galaxius System, had increased their productivity.

‘The session was then closed by Rachel Granger from De Montfort University, who explained how they can support on business review and innovation opportunities. 

‘There was a lot of discussion and knowledge sharing in the session with a real focus on advancements and progression for Leicester and UK.’

Feedback included: 

“Thank-you for putting this initiative together, I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the next steps.”

“We can see you are working in the interests of the textile industry and the wider community in Leicester.”

Jackie added: “I am incredibly proud to be involved in this program, Leicester is my home town and it’s great to be supporting advancement in the industry through positive change and real collaboration.”

Divya, FCFTA (Leicester) administrator, said: “I truly appreciate the hard work and determination the company is pouring into the betterment of unemployed people and renewal of Leicester Textile industry.”

Fashion-Enter Ltd CEO Jenny Holloway commented: “This week we held our first meetings with 25 hardworking and highly skilled manufacturers at our FCFTA (Leicester). It was brilliant to meet the group that talked as one. The drive to put the past firmly in the past was there for everyone to see and the commitment to go forward was inspiring.

“Having been on both sides of the fence as a senior buyer and now as a manufacturer I can see that actually the factory holds the key to retail success. They have the power to make those tears, illustrations and tech packs a reality. They can change production lines to stop the ‘dogs’ and feed on the new ‘stars’. They have speed to market for proximity sourcing and they should be a retailers best friend. They also deserve respect for the skills they have.

“The new program, Community Renewal Fund, we are delivering for UK government and LLEP, will give the right tools to support these factories. All factories need stability, there’s a huge opportunity now for Leicester and I for one am totally determined to make this happen with an outstanding team at Fashion-Enter and FashionCapital. It’s time to stand proud Leicester factories – your time is coming!”

Further CRF sessions and workshops will take place over the next few months, more on this in due course.

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