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UK royal visits New Balance's manufacturing facility

Jan '19
Courtesy: UKFT
Courtesy: UKFT
In her role as the president of UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), Princess Anne from the royal British family paid a visit to the United Kingdom (UK) manufacturing facility of New Balance, a US-based multinational sports footwear manufacturer. The UK site produces more than 12,000 pairs of shoes a week, which equates to more than 580,000 pairs a year.

The company has developed value streams under the Japanese ‘lean’s system of manufacturing, which has reduced production times from start to finish of 2-3 weeks down to under three hours.

"Made in Britain is significantly important to our survival, with consumers buying the craftsmanship as well as the materials. We are particularly proud to have the immense privilege of welcoming The Princess Royal to our factory here in Flimby. The royal visit stands as a special moment for all of us," Andy Okolowicz, New Balance’s factory manager, said.

The Royal Visit forms part of UKFT’s Let’s Make It Here initiative, which celebrates Britain’s rich manufacturing heritage.

"It is fantastic for The Princess Royal to see the good work a global brand like New Balance is doing in West Cumbria, where it has been committed to locally-producing high-quality shoes in the UK since 1982. Now more than ever we need to invest in UK manufacturing and ensure we create the right environment and pipeline of new talent for the industry to thrive for many years to come," Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT, said.

The Princess Royal presented awards to the longest-serving members of the New Balance team and she was given a pair of custom-made trainers, complete with royal stitching.

UKFT’s Let’s Make It Here website allows designers and brands to search by product type, support services or location, to make it easier to source in the UK. The database covers all stages of the supply chain, including yarn, fabric, garments and accessories, as well as ancillary support services, such as pattern cutters.

The website attracts significant interest, not only from the UK but globally, with many of the enquiries coming from overseas, providing those listed with export opportunities to promote the heritage, efficiency and craftsmanship of UK manufacturing. (RR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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