Princess Royal opens new £9m factory in Bradford

Texfelt is opening a new £9m 60,000 sq ft factory in Bradford in a move that will safeguard 13 jobs and help produce environmentally friendly products.

The facility was officially opened by the Princess Royal and will allow the business to future-proof its operation with the production of Springbond, a new eco-engineered carpet underlay made from upcycled plastic bottles.

Previously based in an old textile mill in Elland, Texfelt’s investment is in direct response to a decline in its traditional markets due to the dramatic changes in the flooring industry over the last 15-20 years.

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James Taylor, managing director at Texfelt and fourth generation in the family run business, said: “Today’s royal opening is a real milestone for Texfelt. Building a development of this size doesn’t come without its challenges but we are incredibly proud of what’s been achieved, and of the direct impact we’ve had on job creation in Bradford.

“Our family roots are from Huddersfield, so we have a huge emotional attachment to Yorkshire and are proud to be part of the region’s future.”

Texfelt received investment for its new facility from the Textiles Growth Programme via the Business Growth Hub, and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Roger Marsh, chair of the LEP, said: “I’m delighted that through the Growth Service, the LEP has supported businesses to become more productive and environmentally sustainable. The Leeds City Region is a leading centre for textile manufacturing, and businesses like Texfelt are boosting growth and global competitiveness in this sector.”

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To coincide with the opening of the Bradford site, Texfelt has brought a new eco-engineered carpet underlay to market, 85 per cent of which is made from recycled PET plastics bottles and other single use plastics.

21 July 2016.......     Texfelt in Elland, manufacturers of felt underlay. Picture Tony Johnson.21 July 2016.......     Texfelt in Elland, manufacturers of felt underlay. Picture Tony Johnson.
21 July 2016....... Texfelt in Elland, manufacturers of felt underlay. Picture Tony Johnson.

Each role of Springbond uses up to 180 recycled bottles, meaning the average homeowner could see 900 recycled bottles sitting under their carpets. In keeping with its environmental ethos, Texfelt partnered with Associated Weavers by using its Sedna carpet for its launch event. The Sedna carpet is made from ECONYL® regenerated nylon, a yarn made from recycled waste material such as old carpets and abandoned fishing nets collected from the bottom of the sea.

The LEP funding was delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

Jo Ruxton, prominent plastic pollution campaigner and CEO and Founder of Plastic Oceans UK, said: “I am delighted to attend the opening of the new Texfelt factory. Springbond is a perfect example of upcycling for plastic that might otherwise have ended up in the environment. I hope this will encourage other entrepreneurs to find ways to value plastic to ensure it never reaches our oceans.”

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