From the Blog...

Scottish textile company expansion.

I have included this article as it reinforces my belief that there is potential for growth in British textles. It also shows that there is interest in Heritage products in the UK.

James Sugden leads £1m Scottish mill expansion plan

by Henry Hill, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, February 25th 2012

A TEXTILE boss who was born and grew up in Huddersfield is leading a £1m expansion plan at a famous Scottish mill.

James Sugden, director of Johnstons of Elgin, said the creation of a new visitor centre, café and shop at the firm’s Eastfield Mills site in Hawick, south-east Scotland, would create 15 jobs and help safeguard the jobs of its existing 250-strong workforce.

The plan includes restructuring the building’s ground floor to provide a 3,600sq ft shop and visitor centre.

Johnstons of Elgin is the only UK mill to carry out all processes of cashmere manufacturing from fibre to finished garment.

Mr Sugden said the company opened a shop and visitor centre at its other mill in Elgin 25 years ago. Today, the attraction turns over £5m a year and boasts more than 200,000 visitors.

Johnstons of Elgin set up business in Hawick 28 years ago with eight employees and now employs 250 on the site.

Last year, Johnstons of Elgin recorded a turnover of £50m.

Mr Sugden said: “I see a bright future for manufacturing of luxury textiles in Scotland and I hope this investment – along with further ongoing investment in new advanced knitting machines later this year – will mark a new period of progress.”

Mr Sugden was born and brought up in Berry Brow and attended St David’s School at Marsh.

His father, the late Col John Bairstow Sugden, was a director of Huddersfield Fine Worsteds and also worked at Rock Mills in Brockholes. His mother, Helen, worked for Phoenix Mills.

Mr Sugden joined Johnstons of Elgin in 1986 as sales director and became managing director in the following year.