Textiles Growth Programme

Textiles Growth Logo

A programme focused on creating and safeguarding jobs through a grant funded scheme - supporting capital projects, skills training and research and development in the textile industry.

Who is the service for?

The Textiles Growth Programme is aimed at all businesses within the textiles sector, and covers manufacturers from carpets to clothing, as well as industry suppliers, such as textile machinery manufacturers and designers.

About the service

 The programme is focused on creating and safeguarding jobs via a multi-million pound grant funded scheme to support capital projects, skills training and research and development.

Our service is delivered by people with extensive experience at all levels within the sector, and who understand the day-to-day pressures of running a business.

Our advisers can help you to put together an eligible project for funding and guide you through the application process. They can also work with you to implement strategies that will allow your business to grow over the short, medium or long-term.

We can also offer additional support in areas such as finance, manufacturing advice and international trade, along with skills and management development.

Some of the areas where support can be provided include:

  • Apparel and footwear manufacture
  • Manufacture of soft furnishings
  • Knitting, weaving and dying
  • Cut, make and trim
  • Carpet manufacture
  • Technical textiles
  • Manufacture of textiles machinery
  • Trading and wholesale

Meet the team

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Alain Dilworth

Textiles Programme Manager

Alain spent nearly 30 years in operational roles within the private sector, working for large and small businesses covering oil exploration, defence engineering, packaging, home improvement and textiles, as well as starting up and running his own manufacturing business.

Alain entered the public sector in 2010 running the Business Link NW project. Specialising in project management, Alain is a qualified PRINCE2 and Agile practitioner and is currently focussing on delivering the £45 million Textile Growth Programme.

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Joan Baron

Project Monitor

Joan has 15 years’ experience managing the finances of large European-funded projects across Greater Manchester, for both the public and private sectors. She now uses this knowledge, as well as her experience of running her own business, to support textile companies throughout the Northwest.

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Claire Langman

Project Monitor

Claire’s key focus is delivering the Textiles Growth Programme, helping to create jobs and leverage private sector investment for over 100 companies in the UK Textiles sector.

Before joining the Hub, she worked for Welfare to Work, helping the long term unemployed find sustainable jobs. Claire also has a degree in Games Development, and enjoys using her IT skills wherever she can.

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Paul Gauden

Project Monitor

Paul joined the Manchester Growth Company in May 1999 as a careers and training advisor and since then has worked in various roles within the organisation, during which time he has achieved a number of role related vocational qualifications.


Paul gained important experience undertaking various roles within the Business Start-up section, including contracts manager. He also worked as project manager within Start-ups, and managed the North West Apprenticeship Company (the group’s own apprenticeship training agency). He has considerable experience working on ERDF projects too, and is now using his experience and sector knowledge to support the region’s textile sector.


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John McSweeny

Textiles Advisor

John has over 30 years’ experience working in the textile industry, 15 of which he spent  running his own successful manufacturing business. John entered public sector business support in 2006 as an innovation adviser.

Specialising in concept to commercialisation, John draws on a wealth of experience -  and his wider networks - to support businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals with their innovative ideas and new product/service development, as well as generally helping them to improve the overall performance of their business.

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Andy Wood

Textiles Advisor

Andy has an MBA in strategic management and operations, and over 40 years’ experience in the textile industry, including running and advising organisations in the UK, South Africa and the USA.

He now uses his technical knowledge and business experience to support the UK textile industry and relishes working with companies involved in the discovery and development of new, innovative technologies that are at the forefront of the global textile industry.

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Case Study


Textiles Growth

Support from the Textiles department helps Manchester based textiles business Grafea reach new markets.

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How to access the service

If you would like to find out more about Textiles Growth Programme please contact:
Tel: 0161 359 3050

Business Growth Hub

Churchgate House
56 Oxford Street
M1 6EU

European Union - Investing in Your Future
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