The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) is to take over the management of Textiles Scotland (STLA), the membership group for Scottish producers of fashion, accessories, interiors, and technical textiles.

The move will see UKFT assume STLA managerial responsibilities from 1 January, and aims to provide new opportunities for Scottish companies by being part of a wider network while retaining a national, Scottish focus.

The Textiles Scotland branding will be continued, as will the Scottish focus of the activities, support and government lobbying.

Existing Textiles Scotland members will also be transferred to a new company called UKFT Scotland, which will join the main UKFT board. UKFT CEO Adam Mansell will join the Scottish Industry Leadership Group.

Described as an "inclusive British network for fashion and textile companies," UKFT brings together 2,500 designers, manufacturers, agents and retailers to promote their businesses and the fashion industry in the UK and throughout the world. It is also a leading authority for skills and training in the sector, working with employers to define skills gaps and priorities and developing industry-led solutions. 

UKFT will be working with the industry to develop a new membership offer that will help Textiles Scotland become a self-sustaining organisation, including using its expertise to develop an export strategy and a skills strategy for Scottish members.

"We are delighted to welcome Textiles Scotland into the wider UKFT community and look forward to expanding our support services to address the needs of our new Scottish members, focused on leadership, innovation, internationalisation, skills and investment," said Nigel Lugg, chairman of UKFT. "This transaction will ensure that Scottish companies have a national and international voice and significantly furthers our aim of creating a highly profitable and productive UK fashion and textiles industry."

James Lang, chairman of Textiles Scotland, added: "UKFT's commitment to working with the industry to deliver our current plan of activity, while plugging into a wider fashion, leather and textiles network makes it a perfect partner for Textiles Scotland. This new partnership allows us to focus on high-value growth opportunities in international markets and adopt an industry-wide approach, which is genuinely committed to innovation and best practice to ensure future success."