Rebirth of cotton spinning in Manchester

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-08-08 14:00:00 – Manchester

English Fine Cottons (EFC) is bringing cotton spinning to Manchester after a near 30 year hiatus. It has restored a mill in Dukinfield, to the east of Manchester, that was built in 1853 and stopped spinning a century later. A 56m-long cotton-spinning line takes up the entire top floor after growing international demand for high quality British textiles.

The £5.8m project is expected to create 120 jobs over the next 18 months. The initial capacity will be 500 tonnes a year, a tiny fraction of UK demand, but there are hopes for rapid growth.

EFC is investing £4.8m of its own money, £2m of which is a loan from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, made up of the region’s 10 local authorities. The N Brown Textile Growth Programme (TGP) has given a £1m grant.

The company will make high-end yarn that will go to Germany, Switzerland and Italy to be made into shirts and coats. It said Marks & Spencer and Burberry have already made inquiries about its range.

Andy Ogden, general manager said that they can compete against anyone for the high-quality product. The machines they have are the most advanced in the world. It is heavily automated so labour costs are not such a big issue.

In fact, because manufacturers can buy small quantities and get delivery within days, they would save on transport and warehouse costs, Mr Ogden said.

The new investment will enable the automotive business, in a neighbouring mill, to expand too. It made £18m revenues last year and exported 90 percent of production.

Exports of cotton yarn, fabric and clothing grew by more than 40 percent between 2010-15, to hit £2bn. Britain is the world’s 15th largest textile maker.

According to the Alliance Report last year, the UK textile sector could create up to 20,000 jobs by 2020 — worth £9bn to the UK economy as production was restored.

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