As Huddersfield prepares to welcome France’s premiere sporting spectacle, the Tour de France, Kirklees manufacturers are staging a special showcase of their own across the Channel – at the British Embassy in Paris.
Companies from Huddersfield and Batley are taking part in a unique two-day visit organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to celebrate Yorkshire’s world-renowned heritage and lifestyle products.
The focus of the visit, which gets under way today, will be on what Yorkshire has to offer in terms of quality goods – and how manufacturers can capitalise on opportunities to secure business in France and beyond.
Those taking part include Joshua Ellis & Co Ltd, of Batley, which has manufactured luxury fabrics, including luxury cashmere and woollen coatings, since 1767; Samuel Tweed Fabrics, of Taylor Hill, which is famed for its luxury mohair fabrics and accessories; Michael George Manufacturing Ltd, of Lockwood, which designs and manufactures menswear accessories; Holmfirth firm Mollie Sash, which makes contemporary country clothing, bags, hats and scarves; and Slaithwaite-based McNair Mountain Shirts.
Others taking part include Pipers Crisps, of Brigg; Driffield-based World Top Brewery; Castleford cheese business Cryer & Stott; and Harrogate leather goods firm Equi-Scuto.
John Gleave, a senior trade adviser for UKTI in Paris, said: “Yorkshire cloth has a high reputation in France, although few top-end buyers are fully aware of the strength of the fashion and lifestyle brands in the region.
“The Tour de France presents an unrivalled opportunity to show off the best of Yorkshire design and craftsmanship to selected French buyers and the media, and the aim of the showcase is to whet the appetite ahead of the start of Le Tour in July.”
Liz Harper, of Joshua Ellis, said: “We are incredibly proud of our Yorkshire heritage and manufacturing roots dating back more than 200 years and this is a fantastic opportunity to shout that loud and proud to potential customers against a stunning backdrop.
“We’re looking forward to an exciting couple of days and showing new prospective partners just what we can produce in Yorkshire.”
UKTI and partners – in tandem with Welcome to Yorkshire – are running a three-day international business festival ahead of the Grand Depart that is set to generate £20m in new business and create a lasting legacy to boost the regional economy for years to come.
It will run from July 2 to 4 around two main business hubs at The Carriage Works in Leeds and the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield – with York and Harrogate also hosting events for the North Yorkshire community.
A packed programme will comprise dedicated events for specific sectors, such as retail, textiles and sport technology, as well target markets like China and areas where Yorkshire businesses excel, including design and engineering, healthcare innovation, biotech and food and drink.
Mark Robson, regional director of UKTI, said: “The Grand Depart provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and leadership that has put local companies at the forefront of the global race.
“We’re determined to deliver a flagship business spectacle befitting the arrival of the world’s largest annual sporting event.”
Visit www.letour.yorkshire.com/international-business-festival for further details, or for general information on the support available from UKTI visit www.ukti.gov.uk, contact UKTI & H by calling 0300 365 1000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org