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British Textile Industry Boosted by $30M Grant

The British government today granted the country’s textile industry around £19.5 million (or nearly $30 million) in a bid to encourage foreign buyers to source in the U.K.

Drapers reports that the money, awarded to the N Brown Textiles Growth Programme and delivery body Economic Solutions by the Regional Growth Fund, will largely focus on growing textile businesses in the Northeast and East Midlands.

It is the second such cash infusion for the first-of-its-kind program, supported by such retailers as Marks & Spencer, ASOS and Roland Mouret, which received £12.8 million (roughly $20 million) in funding in 2013. To date, £9 million (or about $14 million) of that has been allocated to 94 companies across the Northwest of the country, including woolen yarn producer Gledhill Ltd., carbon fiber weaver Sigmatex and leather manufacturer Grafea.

News of the grant comes after yesterday’s publication of the Alliance Project commissioned “Repatriation of UK Textiles Manufacture” report, the biggest study in 20 years on supply and demand in U.K. manufacturing, which claims that the industry is worth £9 billion or $14 million to the economy and is experiencing year-on-year export growth. In addition, it calls for a national database of manufacturers to help foreign buyers source their fabrics from the U.K. and predicts that 20,000 new jobs could be created by 2020 if businesses are supported.