A UK initiative to help local textile and clothing manufacturers in the West Midlands is set to be extended across following a successful pilot scheme, organisers have announced.

Originally launched by Wolverhampton Chamber & Business Link and run in conjunction with WABC, the local Asian business centre, the scheme is now being made available through the recently created Black Country Chamber & Business Link.

Chamber adviser Carol Slater said: "Textiles are one traditional manufacturing sector which has been specially hard hit by competition from imports and increased burdens in environmental regulation.

"Through involvement with our textile group, our specialised advisers can offer local manufacturers guidance and support to help reach recognised standards across a range of criteria, including health and safety and quality procedures.

"The aim is to help give their customers confidence in the type of company they are dealing with.'

The extension follows a recent presentation to several Wolverhampton firms who won the Charter Mark 2001 award, which recognises companies who have achieved high operational and professional standards.