Textiles firm gains £9k grant

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Wetherby-based Arville Textiles has secured £9,000 of funding from a government-backed programme that will help the firm boost its digital technology.

The £10m turnover manufacturer, which was established in 1954 and employs 100 people, specialises in performance fabrics that are used to make bullet-proof and fire-proof clothing as well as bomb disposal suits, emergency flotation systems for aircraft, life rafts and aircraft escape slides.

Money from the Digital Enterprise programme will enable the firm to grow and create new jobs, by funding new digital systems that will streamline Arville’s internal communications systems and increase efficiencies.

Andy Smith, group head of marketing at the business, said: “We’re proud of our heritage as a Yorkshire manufacturer, having started out over 60 years ago weaving woollen textiles for public transport staff uniforms.

“Over time we’ve evolved into a specialist in our field, working with extremely advanced industry sectors that are among the most challenging and demanding in the world, and we need our business processes to reflect that.”

He added: “Thanks to the Digital Enterprise funding we will be able to invest in a factory-wide wi-fi system which will enable us to operate a new barcoding scheme in our production management system and to make informed decisions based on the data captured.

“Our new technology is already leading to growth, with a 15 per cent increase in turnover expected for the current financial year, and we plan to be making new hires during 2018.”

Muz Mumtaz, programme manager of Digital Enterprise, said: “We are helping more and more businesses in the Leeds City Region realise their potential by improving their connectivity and digital technology.”

“We’re urging SMEs whose broadband speeds are holding them back to apply for the £1,000 Connectivity Voucher, which is a one-off payment covering connection costs and hardware. Businesses can check out their eligibility for the voucher on the Digital Enterprise website.”

Funded by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), its nine local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Connectivity Vouchers are aimed at small businesses whose current download speeds are less than 30 mbps, firms in areas with poor network coverage, as well as those involved in high levels of data transfer with a defined business need for improved upload and download transfer speeds.