The clothing manufacturing sector in the south west of the UK could get a boost thanks to a new venture between Plymouth College of Art and Millfields Trust that will see the launch of a cut, make and trim service with a strong focus on ethical sourcing.
Power to Change, the independent trust supporting community businesses in England, has provided GBP184,000 (US$254,000) of funding to make the project possible. Funding of GBP96,000 will also be provided by the Social Enterprise Investment Fund from Plymouth City Council.
The investment will see the formation of Makers HQ, a community interest company that will bring together academic institutions, businesses, designers, makers and members of the local community to create a sustainable and innovative new business model for the fashion and textiles sector in Plymouth.
The company aims to drive community regeneration, initially within the Stonehouse area, through job creation, increased retention of highly-skilled graduates and training opportunities.
Around 250 jobs were lost 21 years ago when the city’s Jaeger factory closed, with a large number of those skilled workers still residing in the area. Plymouth has a heritage of making and manufacturing, and Plymouth College of Art and Millfields Trust are hoping Makers HQ will help to re-establish the city’s historical links to the fashion industry and drive economic and community regeneration.