The Leicestershire Textiles Hub Supports Manufacturers in the East Midlands

The Leicestershire Textiles Hub Supports Manufacturers in the East Midlands

‘Meet the Manufacturer’, the sourcing event organised by Make it British, has announced a partnership with the Leicestershire Textiles Hub, to help drive awareness of the work that the Hub is doing to support the Leicestershire region’s textile manufacturers.  The collaboration will include a jointly hosted fashion show* on the first day of  the Meet the Manufacturer trade show and conference on 3 and 4 June 2015 at Tobacco Dock in London.  Top TV fashion and celebrity stylist, Zoe Lem, who is from Leicestershire herself, will be styling a selection of clothing and accessories made in the county, to showcase the best of Leicestershire manufacturing.

Kate Hills, founder and CEO of Make it British, which organises the event, says: “We’re very excited about the partnership with the Leicestershire Textiles Hub.  Their philosophy mirrors ours – to reinvigorate the textiles industry and provide information, inspiration and innovation around British manufacturing.  As the trend of re-shoring gains momentum, we’re confident that this fashion show will bring to life the quality and diversity of manufacturing in Leicestershire and prove an informative experience for buyers.”

Since its launch in September 2014, the Leicestershire Textiles Hub has been offering useful and practical support and information to textile manufacturers in the area to help their businesses to flourish.  Abdul Bathin, programme manager, explains: “The Leicestershire region has always been a traditional centre for knitwear, hosiery and footwear – much of the infrastructure is still there and now is the time to write the next chapter in the history of Leicestershire textiles and inspire a new generation to take the county to where it belongs.  Leicestershire is an important UK manufacturing centre and the textiles industry is showing encouraging signs of growth, but it’s not without its challenges. This is a great opportunity to showcase the manufacturing capabilities in the region to key buyers and designers from all over the UK.” 

According to the ONS business register and employment survey 2013**, Leicester and Leicestershire has one of the highest levels of textiles employment in the UK with over 10,000 people involved in textile manufacturing and more than 400 companies responsible for 20% of the UK’s clothing manufacturing.

Adds Bhavik Master of Jack Masters, a family-run knitwear manufacturer based in Leicestershire who will be exhibiting at the Meet the Manufacturer event: “The central London location of ‘Meet the Manufacturer’ is fantastic, giving manufacturers the exposure to meet with all the key buyers.  It’s a chance to network with other manufacturers too, to form collaborations and leverage different business opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise have.  As a result of attending last year’s event we’ve opened some new wholesale accounts and business is growing.  We’re big supporters of the new Leicestershire Textiles Hub too.  It’s good for the local industry because we’ve got common goals with lots of businesses in similar situations.  Hopefully the outcome will be a stronger collaborative offering from Leicestershire.”


*Entry to the ‘Meet the Manufacturer’ fashion show is by invitation only. To request an invite call 033 39 39 00 29


Note to editors:

About Kate Hills

Kate Hills is founder and managing director of Make it British. Twenty years of working as a designer and buyer for brands such as Burberry and M&S and multiple product sourcing trips overseas prompted Kate to set up the Make it British website to help promote UK manufacturing and British- made brands. Now in its fifth year, the website has gone from strength to strength and Kate has appeared regularly on television and radio espousing her firm belief that manufacturing in the UK is thriving, cost-effective and sustainable.

About Meet the Manufacturer

Kate Hills launched Meet the Manufacturer in 2014, a trade show and conference for the UK fashion and textiles industry. The event brings together the best of British manufacturers with buyers and designers looking to have their products made in Britain. The inaugural event featured high-profile speakers such as Mary Portas and Eve Pollard and attracted nearly 3000 visitors. The next Meet the Manufacturer event will take place at Tobacco Dock in London on 3 and 4 June 2015.

About the Leicestershire Textiles Hub

The Leicestershire Textiles Hub is an invaluable information resource and support programme for businesses and individuals involved in the textiles sector. The website and its associated support strands are a joint initiative funded by the European Social Fund and managed by Pera Training Ltd.

The Leicestershire Textiles Hub is one of a series of initiatives being delivered as part of the Skills Support for the Workforce programme.  These contracts see Pera Training support small to medium sized businesses train and develop their workforce in the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership area.  The £1,519,040 of funding for the whole of the Leicester and Leicestershire Skills Support for the Workforce programme is provided by the EU’s European Social Fund (ESF), an initiative designed to improve employment opportunities within the European Union.  

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The Leicestershire Textiles Hub will see the delivery and coordination of a range of support for the textile sector in Leicester and Leicestershire.  Part of this programme is the development and rollout of a website to bring together local and national industry support initiatives, particular around skills and growth and showcasing Leicestershire textile capability.

The delivery team includes a Programme Manager and Business Engagement Manager, with marketing, website build and management and event support drawn from a Pera Training team based at Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.


Here is a Dropbox link to high res images of: Kate Hills, Meet the Manufacturer logo, Meet the Manufacturer trade show 2014, Tobacco Dock (2015 venue for Meet the Manufacturer), photos of Leicestershire manufacturers including Jack Masters, Basic Premier and M Wright & Co.

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