Celebrating the future of Blackburn’s heritage textile industry with The Textiles Showcase, a Pop Up Factory
Blackburn, historically known as Cotton Town, has a rich history of innovation and excellence, dating back to the start of the eighteenth century with the beginnings of the textile trade and continued into the nineteenth century when Blackburn became one of the most important cotton producers in the world. Today, although cotton is largely gone, fashion and textile manufacturing both flourish.
It is therefore no surprise that at the first National Festival of Making we wanted to inspire the next generation of skills, the thriving UK textiles sector invites you to the textiles showcase and pop up factory. Highlighting the industry revival by showcasing a brilliant range of textiles companies ‘making it’ in Britain -from apparel to home wear and technical fabrics, the textiles manufacturing sector is back!
Once the vision of Lancastrian industry might have been weaving and spinning, but many will be surprised to find the county now making world-leading textile innovations in support of the aerospace, automotive and nuclear industries. The festival is chance to get an insight into these innovations, see first-hand how they are made, talk to those who work in the industry about products, techniques, skills, and opportunities and even ‘have-a-go’ on the latest industrial sewing machines.
The textiles industry needs more young people to take the first step on an exciting career in manufacturing, not only working with leading companies in Lancashire, but perhaps internationally too. The Pop Up Factory has invested £27m in 340 companies and they in turn have invested £123m and created over 4000 jobs and 380 apprenticeships and there are still so many opportunities for rewarding careers to be discovered.
Inspiring the Future Textiles Workforce is a campaign to help address skills shortages, raise the sector profile and secure the next generation of textiles workers. Greater Manchester employers and our team have developed ‘The Textiles Showcase’ and it’s great to bring this to the first National Festival of Making.
Should you wish to enquire further, please contact Celia Thornley 07827 440871 or email Celia.Thornley@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk
The Pop Up Factory will be showcased in the Windsor Suite, King George’s Hall between 11am and 6pm, Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May.