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East Midlands Chamber News

D2N2 grant means success for textiles manufacturer

Toray Textile's new loomsA £123,000 grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has enabled Mansfield-based textiles manufacturer Toray Textiles Europe to invest in new looms and ancillary equipment - creating eight new jobs.

Toray Textiles Europe has been developing specialist markets, such as medical, industrial and automotive, for its fabrics.

When a further growth opportunity was identified, but one that would require new machinery to fulfil, directors approached the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for support. At the same time a new loom was launched in Japan and the firm’s Japanese parent needed a pilot site to test it.

Richard Stephens, Managing Director of Toray Textiles Europe, said: “As the European arm of a global Japanese textiles company we have to compete for investment with Toray’s other sites around the world and historically, with the UK textile market shrinking, that’s not been easy. When Toray needed a pilot site to test a new loom, the timing couldn’t have been better.

“D2N2’s grant made all the difference in helping us secure the pilot with Toray which then enabled us to secure employment here in Mansfield, increase both our capability and capacity and produce new width fabrics to service customer demand.”

Since the installation of the eight new looms and new ancillary equipment the firm has been at full capacity and has employed eight new people in technical and production jobs. The project has been so successful that five more looms have been ordered to meet demand.

D2N2’s £123,000 funding came from its Unlocking Investment for Growth (UI4G) programme. UI4G has been supported by the Regional Growth Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. UI4G grant awards are given by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Investment Panel, chaired by Board member Peter Gadsby. The aim of the fund is to create long term sustainable jobs.

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are pleased to have helped to create new jobs in a traditional sector which has faced difficulties but, more importantly, this investment has gone a long way towards safeguarding the current workforce and avoiding any negative impact on the local economy.”

UI4G is now fully committed and no longer accepting applications.

Grants already approved will create over 400 new jobs and safeguard a further 350. The programme has inspired business owners in the D2N2 LEP’s area to invest over £20million, alongside the grant support, to grow their businesses.

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