Localisation is always the dream of regional authorities; they are keen to develop and/ or sustain existing skills or traditional industries employing mass workforces.
The idea that the UK textile industry can be boosted by Brexit gives regional development authorities succour, but is it really the right focus for investment?
Britain in a Brexit environment needs to establish itself as a hi-tech, highly skilled environment competing based on skills, modernisation and quality.
The textiles industry has all of these traits, but over the past century the industry has moved to low cost economies, such as Turkey and South East Asia; Britain post Brexit will still not be able to compete on a level with these countries.
The issue of sale or return via the internet is putting pressure on clothing retailers/etailers and having production closer to home to meet short term trends must be attractive. However, while specialised textiles production has a place in post Britain Brexit, it is pie in the sky to believe the cotton mills of Lancashire will be spinning again. We need to look forward with optimism and focus on the opportunities, not look back.
Made in Britain: will Brexit spell the march of the makers Industry experts have downplayed the likelihood of a return to mass-scale and volume manufacturing and highlight that Britain’s output is still marginal at best. However, this year cotton-spinning returned to the country for the first time in a generation, in a fresh sign that British manufacturing isn’t dead after all.