The Next Fashion & Textile Hub: Leicester
Earlier this year, the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) and Leicester City Council commissioned a study carried out by Focus consultants. The report, which was partly funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has highlighted the need for a Fashion and Textiles ‘hub’ that would act as an industry centre for Leicester.
Sue Tilley, Economic Strategy Manager for Business at the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) said: “The LLEP has been working closely with Fashion Enter and Leicester City Council on an ERDF programme for a centre of excellence in fashion and textiles. Entitled the ‘Leicester Fashion and Textile Hub’, this state-of-the-art centre will synergistically combine all elements of fashion and textiles together to enhance the growth of the sector in Leicester.”
The Hub will offer support and facilitate access to technology and training as well as help with any compliance or trading issues. Leading textile manufacturers, including Fashion Enter and fashion retailers, many from well-known high street brands will be in attendance to discuss the findings of the report and agree the next steps towards driving the hub and the industry forwards.
Nick Pulley chair of the LLEP said:
“There is profound support for Leicester from many of Britain’s leading fashion retailers and e-tailers, but their support has been tempered by Leicester’s image of unethical trading practices.
“There is a need for a different kind of Leicester textiles industry and the Hub would have an important part to play in changing this perception. It would also work to help manufacturers to recognise the need to adopt a different approach to trading and costing.
“Leicester is one of only five UK centres for mass, fast fashion textile production. This is a fantastic opportunity for the local industry to pull together to maximise positive commercial developments such as re-shoring of UK based production to improve the fashion and textile sector in Leicester.”
Jenny Holloway, CEO of Fashion Enter and FashionCapital (pictured right) adds:
“Well, I’m a Midlands gal at heart and always will be! I’ve really enjoyed working with the talented team of LLEP and the resulting report on the ERDF Leicester Fashion and Textiles Hub. The proposed Hub is just what the industry needs now. A state of the art centre that can engage with all sectors of the industry and raise standards throughout the entire garment life cycle. It has been a pleasure working with everyone and we all sincerely wish you the very best of luck with the implementation stage.”
A draft concept brief has been prepared based on the findings of the initial consultation. This encompasses a property totalling 10,000 sq.ft. which will support three distinct activities:
– business skills;
– resources including access to technology and ethical compliance.
The Mission Statement for the proposed “Leicester Fashion Hub” reads: “To support the development of a robust, future-focused, highly skilled and sustainable fashion and textiles sector with high quality jobs in Leicester and the UK.”
We look forward to revealing more on this exciting development soon.