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November 9, 2018

British textile centre of excellence to boost manufacturing

The British textile manufacturing industry could be about to receive a boost thanks to the opening of a new centre of excellence in Hawick, Scotland, early in the New Year.

The British textile manufacturing industry could be about to receive a boost thanks to the opening of a new centre of excellence in Hawick, Scotland, early in the New Year.

The Centre of Excellence in Textiles is being launched to help to address business critical skills issues in the sector and provide industry skills of all levels. The project was awarded GBP610,000 (US$793,562) in funding from the Scottish Government via the South of Scotland Economic Partnership in July.

The centre will be created at a former mill building in Hawick, and will provide training to the town’s current textiles and knitwear workforce, with upskilling opportunities as well as advancing leadership and management skills.

It will support the next generation by training 16-19 year-olds in the practical elements of the textile and knitwear industry through Foundation and Modern Apprenticeships.

Future development will increase the range of support facilities available to the textile sector, the Government says.

“I am delighted that we are able to fund this development through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership,” says Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy. “The south of Scotland is renowned for the quality of its textiles industries and it is important that we invest in that excellence for the future.

“The centre will bring real and long-term benefits to the area, developing the talent needed to support the industry’s future success and enabling people to pursue long-term careers in this important sector.”

The long-term vision of the project is to develop, in addition to the training centre, a textile innovation centre as well as a showcase and marketing tool for the local industry.

“This initiative will address business critical issues in the local textiles and knitwear sector and provide a stream of skilled young workers across all roles, enabling the world-renowned Borders businesses in this sector to address succession planning issues and reduce or remove the need to send work overseas,” adds councillor Mark Rowley, executive member for business and economic development.

“This project will also build on the confidence in the sector, which will hopefully lead to continued investment by those companies already established here and inward investment from others who see the benefits of such collaboration.

“Importantly it also provides genuine work skills for local young people based on a clear pathway to local jobs, which delivers immediate and long-term economic benefits to the Scottish Borders.”

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