The Yorkshire textile industry is set to receive a major boost as one of the UK’s leading textile groups gets ready to launch its new £9m project in Bradford later this month.
JR Group UK, which owns Bradford-based JR Fibres, will move its Halifax nonwovens business, Texfelt, to a brand-new, state-of-the art facility at Cutler Heights with a focus on creating recycled textile products for a range of industry sectors.
The scheme, which has been funded predominantly by JR Group UK and has received investment from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership of £250,000 and the Textile Growth Fund of over £470,000, is expected to create 46 new jobs over the next 5 years.
The new project, set over 6.5 acres, is a combination of cutting-edge machinery housed in a purpose built, modern building covering 56,000 sq ft, offices and distribution centre. The building work for phase one will be completed by mid-September and work has already commenced on phase 2 with a combined cost of over £5m.
Over £3m has been invested in state-of-the-art machinery, including a range of high-tech industrial-scale sorting, mixing, treating and cutting machines to manufacture a range of products, from felt underlay and insulation to more technical nonwoven combination products, from recycled materials.
Texfelt currently makes the world’s finest felt underlay from 100% recycled materials on needle-punch machines in Elland. The unique properties of needlefelt products means Texfelt’s old factory will remain operational to satisfy demand for their established products, Envirolay and Sterling Royale, from specifiers and customers in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
Thanks to its strong global connections in the construction and flooring industries, JR Group UK will initially produce a range of products for these sectors, with plans to diversify their portfolio into furniture, bedding, automotive, acoustic attenuation and thermal insulation.
JR Group UK is owned and run by the Taylor family which has been in the Yorkshire textile industry for over 160 years. The Group is one of the leading lights of textile manufacturing and recycling. Texfelt’s underlay is made completely from recycled materials and sister company JR Fibres was recently named UK Carpet Recycler of the Year.
Creating sustainable, technical products is at the heart of the Group’s plans for their new project.
“Our objective for the project has always been to process difficult-to-recycle, post-industrial and consumer textile products such as carpets, mattresses and contract fabrics destined for landfill, then convert them into valuable flame retardant and hygienic products designed for a range of markets,” said James Taylor, Managing Director JR Group UK and fourth generation Taylor family.
“This new facility will enable us to take our green credentials and our business to the next level. We will be the only business in the UK able to make these products and we’re very proud to be able to do this in the heart of Yorkshire in line with our proud history.
“We aim to not only create a sustainable method of production within Bradford, but also generate over 40 jobs and safeguard many more – jobs that would have been lost due to the unpopular product and old manufacturing methods they previously employed,” he added.
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said:
“I am delighted we have supported JR Group UK on this project that will create jobs and boost the local economy. It’s great that our strong industrial heritage in textile manufacturing continues to grow and it’s a real success story for Bradford, the textile industry and the region as a whole.”
Alain Dilworth from the Regional Growth Fund, said: “The Textiles Growth Programme (TGP) was pleased to be able to support this project as it presented a strong business case overall, with a clear growth rationale. The project is strongly aligned to the strategic objectives of the TGP offering a strong return on investment and a public sector cost per job that represents good value for money.”