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Royal visit to Scottish luxury accessories weaver Begg & Co


HRH The Princess Royal visited the Begg & Co mill on Scotland’s west coast this week, in her role as President of the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT).

The company produces luxurious scarves, wraps and blankets from the finest cashmere, silk and wool blend yarns for the Begg & Co brand, as well as for some of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses, and has been proudly making in Scotland since 1866.

During her visit to Ayr, the UKFT President was shown the various stages of production at the mill, met with the skilled team members and was given an overview of the company’s impressive export business.

“We are delighted that HRH The Princess Royal took the time to meet so many of our employees and showed a strong interest in the craftsmanship that goes into making our world-leading products,” said Ian Laird, CEO of Begg & Co. “As an advocate of British textiles, she particularly appreciated the success and growth we’ve had in developing Begg & Co with prestigious retailers around the world.”

Paul Alger MBE, International Business Director at UKFT, said: “We are very pleased that HRH The Princess Royal and President of UKFT visited Begg & Co, which is a world-class mill with more than 150 skilled designers and craftspeople. The President is very interested to learn about manufacturing and to be part of promoting Scottish production and textiles. We look forward to more visits in the future.”

In recognition of the skills and talent within UK fashion and textile manufacturing, this year Her Royal Highness has embarked on a series of visits, from central London to Sheffield, the Cumbrian coast and Hertfordshire.

UKFT is working closely with the industry, as well as lobbying Government, to ensure that we create the right conditions for businesses like Begg & Co to thrive.

As the Sector Skills Body for fashion and textiles, UKFT is also working to secure more training and investment in the industry.

The visits form part of UKFT’s Let’s Make It Here initiative, in celebration of Britain’s rich manufacturing heritage.

UKFT’s Let’s Make It Here website allows designers and brands to search by product type, support services or location, to make it easier to source in the UK. The database covers all stages of the supply chain, including yarn, fabric, garments and accessories, as well as ancillary support services, such as pattern cutters. The website attracts significant interest, not only from the UK but globally, with many of the enquiries coming from overseas, providing those listed with export opportunities to promote the heritage, efficiency and craftsmanship of UK manufacturing.