Princess Anne – president of UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) has paid a visit to the UK manufacturing facility of New Balance – a US-based multinational sports footwear manufacturer.
The Cumbria based site produces more than 12,000 pairs of shoes a week, which equates to more than 580,000 pairs a year and employs 273 people at its UK site, having originally began manufacturing in Workington.
New Balance is today a member of the UKFT’s Federated Member the British Footwear Association (BFA).
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.
The UK site produces more than 12,000 pairs of shoes a week, which equates to more than 580,000 pairs a year.
The Royal Visit forms part of UKFT’s Let’s Make It Here initiative, which celebrates Britain’s rich manufacturing heritage.
Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT commented, “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.”
HRH 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 HRH stitching.
For more information visit www.ukft.org.