The UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) is repositioning itself as a networking forum for the industry, with a new streamlined structure and plans for events and seminars to help executives share ideas and opportunities.

The latest changes come after the fashion and textiles industry trade body created a new, smaller board last September to help respond more quickly to the needs of its members.

The move will also help it work as a united voice for its members, and work more closely with the government and related trade bodies to lobby for industry interests.

"This new chapter for the UKFT has united some of the leading voices across the industry on our board," said UKFT chairman Peter Lucas.

"The way we work is now far more streamlined and we can react swiftly to key industry issues. We are also making moves to really help the next generation of the industry make their mark both here and to export markets."

Key to its new focus will be regular networking events and seminars - beginning with a re-launch event next month in London with guest of honour Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise, the chief executive of high-street chain Next.

Events are also planned at the House of Commons to push the importance of the industry to leading MPs, while seminars will help give members vital advice and insights to help with business growth including exporting advice and how to connect and work in emerging markets.

The UKFT will also raise the profile of its 'Let's Make it Here' database which lists and profiles UK manufacturers. And it wants to provide advice and support for budding entrepreneurs, new businesses and the rising stars of the fashion and textile industry's next generation.