Hume laments lack of support for Borders textiles industry
WHILE Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was adamant that manufacturing still had a major role to play in the Borders economy, local MSP Jim Hume says the Scottish Government needs to do more to support and develop textile mills in places like Selkirk.
Mr Hume was speaking after Mr Clegg, also the Liberal Democrats’ leader in the ruling Westminster coalition with David Cameron’s Conservatives, visited the Mainetti garment hanger factory in Jedburgh on Tuesday.
Mr Clegg was accompanied by Borders Lib Dem MP and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and Scottish Lib Dems leader Willie Rennie.
Mr Clegg was in the region as part of his role in visiting areas around the country to check on progress with the economy.
Holding up Mainetti as a good example of what can still be achieved in the manufacturing sector, despite the current economic downturn, Mr Clegg told The Wee Paper: “There are now arguably more, rather than less, opportunities for manufacturers in the Borders and elsewhere, as increasingly manufacturers from around the world come to recognise that exploiting low-cost locations in Asia is not everything in life.
“When consumers want products which follow fashion almost on a week-by-week basis, something produced on the other side of the planet is not the way, so there’s a bit of a trend of relocating manufacturing back to our hemisphere and I think that’s a very good trend and one which I hope the Borders will benefit from in the years ahead.”
Commenting on how he viewed the current state of local manufacturing, particularly in the Selkirk area, former Yarrow Valley farmer Mr Hume told us: “When you think of manufacturing in the Borders you automatically think of our world-renowned textiles and knitwear sector, and more locally in Selkirk, Lochcarron has done very well over the years in breaking into the tourism market with its excellent visitor centre and mill tours.”
But the MSP went on: “However, it’s fair to say that the sector has faced challenging times in recent years and I believe that Scottish Government policy isn’t focused enough on supporting and developing textiles.
“So far the Scottish Government has done little to encourage manufacturing across the region, most notably recently by failing to include the Borders in any of its enterprise zones announced earlier in the year.”
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Weather for Selkirk
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North east