Major Investment To Brings Cotton Spinning Back to Britain
More than 100 new jobs will be created by the project, which will regenerate a former Victorian cotton mill and use cutting-edge technology to produce luxury yarn for domestic and global markets.
English Fine Cottons is investing £4.8m of its own money in the project, £2m of which is a loan from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) through its investment fund. A further £1m has been awarded as a grant by the N Brown RGF6 Textile Growth Programme (TGP).
The TGP grant announced on the 2nd December 2015, is the largest ever single award from the programme. It means the new venture’s launch and growth plan for the next three years are fully funded. The company has already placed orders for key equipment and begun recruiting staff with a view to re-starting cotton spinning in the UK mid-2016.
English Fine Cottons will base its new production facility in the refurbished Tower Mill in Dukinfield in Tameside, Greater Manchester. The facility will be the UK’s only cotton-spinning company – reviving this iconic trade more than 30 years after the last cotton mills closed in the 1980s.
The new mill will spin some of the most luxurious yarn in the world, using the finest raw materials from Barbados, India, the USA and Egypt. The yarn will be used in collections for the high-end fashion market.
Andy Ogden, general manager of English Fine Cotton’s parent company Culimeta-Saveguard Ltd, said: “We are extremely proud to have won this major government grant today to help us make real our dream of bringing cotton spinning back to where it belongs – the North West of England.
“There is a strong demand across the world for luxury goods with the ‘Made in Britain’ stamp, and English Fine Cottons has the pedigree for the job. Our roots are in technical textile manufacturing and we are in the perfect location – able to draw on a local workforce with the necessary skills and expertise.”
Lorna Fitzsimons, Director of the TGP, said “The global industry could never have predicted that cotton spinning would come back to the UK. Our programme is giving companies like English Fine Cottons the confidence to invest, and at a scale that makes it possible to build one of the most advanced cotton spinning plants in the world – in Greater Manchester. This success of the Alliance Project and the N Brown Textile Growth Programme is down to the amazing private sector collaboration that happens in Greater Manchester. Without the GMCA’s foresight and the partnership with industry and Government, none of this would have happened.”
The investment is the realisation of the opportunities highlighted by the Alliance Report, which earlier this year predicted the creation of up to 20,000 jobs by the UK textile sector by 2020 – worth £9bn to the UK economy.
Simon Colbeck, Head of Innovation and Quality at Marks & Spencer, said: “M&S has long been a supporter of the Alliance Project’s work, as it paves the way for a revival of textiles in the UK. The return of cotton spinning to Greater Manchester is a historic moment and this milestone is a credit to the efforts of the Alliance Project and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
“However, there is still more to do, and across M&S our technical and fashion teams are lending their time and expertise to initiatives, such as the Textile Growth Fund, that look to promote innovation in UK textile manufacturing.”