Investment will create jobs

Lochcarron to expand via Clydesdale funds

LochcarronBorders textiles business Lochcarron of Scotland is expected to create jobs after receiving a £300,000 funding package from Clydesdale Bank.

Lochcarron, which is known worldwide for its tartans, will use the funding to buy a warp mill. The equipment operates four times faster than the machinery it is replacing, enabling the business to realise significant efficiencies.

It will also allow the textiles manufacturer to produce more complicated patterns and work with finer materials, including specialist types of cashmere. In addition to manufacturing a range of tartan fabrics and accessories the business also supplies luxury fabrics to leading design houses across the globe.

Based in Selkirk, the business traces its roots to 1859, and descendants of the founder are among the 105 staff currently employed by the firm.

As well as producing the world’s biggest collection of tartans, Lochcarron manufactures a wide range of outerwear and Highland dress. It exports about £1 million worth of goods each to China and Japan annually.

Cameron Barr, head of finance at Lochcarron, said: “Some of the machinery we were using was over 30 years old so investing in new technology is going to speed up production and help us develop our product range. Everybody knows us a tartan manufacturer but we also work with some very high end design houses. Our new equipment is able to work with a wider range of quality cashmeres meaning that we can now increase the work we do in the luxury market place.

“We are grateful to Clydesdale Bank for supporting our growth ambitions. Its knowledgeable team have an in-depth understanding of the Borders economy and the importance of supporting textiles.

“In the short term the new equipment has secured jobs but in the long term we could increase production which will create new jobs.”

Stuart Anderson, a relationship manager at Clydesdale Bank, said: “It’s a privilege to work in partnership with such a well established and important Scottish brand. Lochcarron is one of the biggest producers of tartan in the world and it has strong plans to develop and grow its product range.

“Our specialist knowledge of and focus on different sectors helps to bring a challenge to the market, giving small and medium sized businesses the speed and flexibility they need to fulfil their ambitions.”

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks strengthened their support for UK SMEs by becoming the first to partner with the British Business Bank under its ENABLE Guarantees scheme.

Up to £125m of new lending by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, guaranteed by the British Business Bank, will help more small businesses achieve their growth ambitions.

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