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Scottish Centre Of Excellence In Textiles To Open Early In 2019

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November 2018 A Centre of Excellence in Textiles in Hawick will open early in the new year and will help to address business critical skills issues in the sector and provide industry skills of all levels.

The project was awarded £610,000 from the Scottish Government via the South of Scotland Economic Partnership in July.

Centre of Excellence

The centre will be created at a former mill building in Hawick, and will be managed by Alistair Young, formerly Operations Manager at the town’s Peter Scott factory.

Training will be provided to the town’s current textiles and knitwear workforce, with upskilling opportunities as well as advancing leadership and management skills. It will support the next generation by training 16 to 19 year olds in the practical elements of the textile and knitwear industry through Foundation and Modern Apprenticeships. Future development will increase the range of support facilities available to the textile sector.

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy,

“I am delighted that we are able to fund this development through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership. The south of Scotland is renowned for the quality of its textiles industries and it is important that we invest in that excellence for the future.

The centre will bring real and long term benefits to the area, developing the talent needed to support the industry’s future success and enabling people to pursue long term careers in this important sector.”

Councillor Mark Rowley, Executive Member for Business and Economic Development

“This initiative will address business critical issues in the local textiles and knitwear sector and provide a stream of skilled young workers across all roles, enabling the world renowned Borders businesses in this sector to address succession planning issues and reduce or remove the need to send work overseas.

“This project will also build on the confidence in the sector, which will hopefully lead to continued investment by those companies already established here and inward investment from others who see the benefits of such collaboration.

“Importantly it also provides genuine work skills for local young people based on a clear pathway to local jobs, which delivers immediate and long term economic benefits to the Scottish Borders.”

David Hamilton, Johnstons of Elgin

“This is a fantastic project that supports the local textiles and knitwear sector and addresses a challenge that many of us have faced for a number of years.

“This is a sector that is growing in the Scottish Borders, thanks to the high quality products that are made here and the reputations that have been built over many years by our brands, and the training and recruitment of young people is vital to ensuring that we can continue to thrive and grow.

“The Scottish Borders, and particularly Hawick, is known the world over for the quality of textiles and knitwear workmanship and this project has the potential to make the area a leader also in the training and development of the sector’s workforce, which could attract more businesses to re-locate here.”