London Apparel Resource Centre
The centre provided managed workspace for designers, training on various sector related skills, sample service, access to special machines and small production runs.
The centre was primarily grant funded by the London Development Agency (LDA), this grant has now been exhausted and will not be followed by any further funding from them.
Newham College, through their Fashion and Textile Museum programme, own most of the production machinery used at LARC, they have new funding and are looking at the possibility of opening a ‘similar' centre somewhere in East London towards the end of this year.
The LDA, who are having their own well publicised problems with other grant funded programmes, are still very supportive of the London Fashion Sector and are still funding other sector initiatives. They have offered to fund a feasibility study for any future proposed fashion centres as part of their support for Business in London.
London needs a centre like LARC to provide sampling and small run production for the hundreds of London based designers that have trouble sourcing appropriate small production quantities at a very high quality standard.
Last week a meeting was held with the official administrator, the LDA and a number of fashion sector organisations including FashionCapital, Fashion-Enter, Fashion and Textile Museum and Designerhelp.Co.Uk to discuss the possibility of a ‘rescue plan' for LARC.
It was apparent to all who attended that the only realistic option was to close LARC and to support the establishment of a possible new centre based in East London sometime in the near future.
FashionCapital will bring you further news about any new centre as soon as we can.
Please watch this space!