Garment hub plan up for investment

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A major project to help identify and develop transformational projects across Sheffield City Region is off to an encouraging start, according to its backers.

One entrepreneur who has already registered an expression of interest is Olusola McKenzie who runs Learn to Re-create - a fashion, craft and textiles social enterprise set up in 2011.

She is looking to establish a garment manufacturing and incubation project to help boost the city’s design and manufacturing industry.

Olusola, who lived in London before coming to Sheffield to study, said: “Thanks to a combination of running a garment production training business and being involved in an artists’ studio I am aware of key issues in the industry and believe I have spotted a gap in the market.

“Firstly, if you are a craft practitioner making things like jewellery you tend to have quite low set-up costs - but if you are a fashion designer looking to launch your own label you face much higher costs because of the industrial machinery and equipment required.

“Sheffield’s educational institutions are great at ensuring students have the manufacturing and design skills they require.

“But many sole traders often lack the professional skills to help their business flourish.”

Recognising a dearth of ambitious and commercially sustainable new projects in the region the Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham, and Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, Chambers joined forces to create the Big Investment Project.

It was launched last month and is expected to act as a catalyst to generate new opportunities put forward by businesses and individuals.