Irish linen fabric manufacturer Ulster Weavers Apparel has become the first textiles company in the world to receive World Class Manufacturing Status.

Accredited by the international Oliver Wight organisation, the Class A award recognises that the business has achieved acknowledged performance standards.

Speaking of the achievement, managing director Declan Gormley said: "We are delighted to achieve this award and see it as part of our continued strategy for excellence in growth.

"In today's global marketplace, businesses must respond to customer needs better and faster than ever before. This requires close working partnerships with customers and the operational agility to respond with products and services which meet, and even better, exceed their needs.