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Textile and fashion firms receive £230,000 innovation boost


More than £230,000 has been allocated to nine separate industry-led research and development (R&D) projects in the first round of innovation calls made by Future Fashion Factory, a new £5.4 million programme supporting collaborative R&D in the UK fashion design and textile industry.

Future Fashion Factory is part of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, an £80 million initiative led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the Industrial Strategy.

Six calls are planned for the Future Fashion Factory in the first four years of the programme, allowing companies to access R&D aimed at driving business growth – from designing new product lines and establishing new markets to developing and commercialising advanced technologies, improving productivity and reducing waste in the creative design and manufacturing process.

Led by the University of Leeds alongside the University of Huddersfield and Royal College of Art, the programme is harnessing existing design expertise and manufacturing assets in Yorkshire and the wider UK to drive growth in high-value national and international markets.

Industrial partners on the Future Fashion Factory programme include Burberry, the British Fashion Council, UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), Yorkshire Textiles, Wools of New Zealand, Abraham Moon & Sons, the Textile Centre of Excellence, W. T. Johnson & Sons, AW Hainsworth, and Camira Fabrics. Future Fashion Factory is also supported by Leeds City Council.

UKFT CEO Adam Mansell is chair of the project.

Stephen Russell, Future Fashion Factory Director and Professor of Textile Materials and Technology at the University of Leeds, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this tradition by delivering ambitious projects that will add value to the businesses in the Future Fashion Factory, accelerating growth, creating new jobs and paving the way for innovative application of new digital and advanced textile technologies.”

Paul Meller, Associate Director of Creative Arts & Digital Humanities at the Arts and Humanities Research Council said: “It’s great to see the fantastic progress the Future Fashion Factory has made and we are proud to support such an ambitious and innovative programme. We look forward to seeing the impact this investment will have for both the fashion industry and the regional economy in the years ahead.”

For more information, please visit https://futurefashionfactory.org/ .