Burberry's Yorkshire factory to be 'retooled' to make gowns and masks for NHS

Burberry's factory in Yorkshire is set to start making non-surgical gowns and masks as it becomes the latest company to lend its support to the fight against coronavirus.

The fashion giant's iconic factory in Albion Street, Castleford, will be "retooled" to allow production of the vital items.

The company are also utilising its distribution network to help get around 100,000 surgical masks to the NHS.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

It is the latest in a long line of businesses who have repurposed their factories to get behind the national effort to fight coronavirus.

Burberry's factory in Albion Street, Castleford.

Harrogate Tipple, which usually makes gin, has switched to making hand sanitizer, while Herida Healthcare, in Leeds, has working around the clock to make thousands of specialist mattresses for emergency hospitals, the first of which is being set up in London.

Join our new coronavirus Facebook group for the latest confirmed news and advice as soon as we get it www.facebook.com/groups/yorkshirecoronavirusMarco Gobbetti, CEO, Burberry said: “In challenging times, we must pull together. The whole team at Burberry is very proud to be able to support those who are working tirelessly to combat COVID-19, whether by treating patients, working to find a vaccine solution or helping provide food supplies to those in need at this time.

"COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our everyday lives, but we hope that the support we provide will go some way towards saving more lives, bringing the virus under control and helping our world recover from this devastating pandemic. Together, we will get through this.”

Burberry is also funding research into a single-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford that is on course to begin human trials next month, as well as supporting charities including FareShare and The Felix Project, dedicated to tackling food poverty across the UK.

University of Oxford’s Head of Medical Sciences, Professor Gavin Screaton, added: “We are delighted with Burberry's generous support for the University's research into a vaccine for COVID-19.

"Burberry's gift is an example of forward-thinking corporate philanthropy that complements and bolsters government and other investment in Oxford’s leading global talent in this field. Donations like this have real and rapid impact, allowing us to be agile in our response, to accelerate this time-critical research.”