The Canadian government has agreed to pledge CAD$2.879m (US$2.543m) in support of two textile manufacturers in Granby, Quebec.

A first repayable contribution of $1.191m will go to Stedfast, under the Canadian Textiles Programme, according to the group Canada Economic Development. Stedfast specialises in the production of fabrics for use in the manufacture of protective wear, military items, hospital supplies and industrial products. 

The project will consolidate the 90 permanent jobs currently in existence at the plant and create 14 new positions, it was announced. 

Jean-Pierre Blackburn, minister of labour and minister of the Canada Economic Development, said: "Since setting up its research and development division in 1988, Stedfast has proven that Quebec manufacturers, especially those operating in the textile sector, can make the leap from traditional to high value-added products and stand up to foreign competition.

"This support from Canada's new government will help Stedfast continue along this path and thrive on the North American and South American markets, among others."

The Stedfast factory will use the funding to purchase new manufacturing equipment, reconfigure its facilities, implement a Material Requirements Planning (MRP) system, put a new marketing strategy into force and develop employee training tools.

In addition, Produits Belt-Tech, a seatbelt and airbag manufacturer will receive $1,688,350 through the programme - creating 13 new positions at the company.