Fashion designers and apparel makers in the West Midlands have received a £1.9 million boost to develop the local industry.

The grant, from regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, was given to the Apparel Group West Midlands, an industry body with more than 300 members.

Set up a year ago and headed by prominent fashion industry figures, the organisation provides guidance and advice to fashion-based businesses whilst promoting the regional industry worldwide.

"This industry in the West Midlands region employs over 10,000 people," chairman Max Palak, also of Birmingham-based Future Garments, explained.

"Our aim is to provide individual businesses with the knowledge and practical support to give them a competitive edge in this difficult yet dynamic climate."

The new funding, according to Apparel Group West Midlands, will go towards developing workers' skills and talents, and improving perceptions of the textile industry.