Family-run textiles group to create 46 new jobs with launch of £9m Bradford facility

JR Group UK, which has been manufacturing, recycling and trading in textiles for over 160 years, is set to launch a new £9m project in Bradford later this month.

The textiles group will move its Halifax nonwovens business, Texfelt, to a newly built facility at Cutler Heights, with a focus on creating recycled textile products for a range of industry sectors.

The scheme has been funded by JR Group UK, along with a £250k investment from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and a £470k boost from Textile Growth Fund.

The move to the new facility is expected to create 46 jobs over the next 5 years.

The project, set over 6.5 acres, comprises a combination of machinery housed in a purpose- built building covering 56,000 sq ft, offices and a distribution centre.

The building work for phase one will be completed by mid-September and work has already commenced on phase two with a combined cost of over £5m.

Over £3m has been invested in new machinery, including a range of high-tech sorting, mixing, treating and cutting machines to manufacture a range of products, from felt underlay and insulation to more technical nonwoven combination products, from recycled materials.

Texfelt currently makes felt underlay from 100% recycled materials on needle-punch machines in Elland. The properties of needlefelt products means Texfelt’s old factory will remain operational to satisfy demand for their established products, Envirolay and Sterling Royale, from specifiers and customers in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

JR Group UK will initially produce a range of products for the construction and flooring industries sectors, with plans to diversify its portfolio into furniture, bedding, automotive, acoustic attenuation and thermal insulation.

JR Group UK is owned and run by the Taylor family, who have been in the Yorkshire textile industry for over 160 years.

James Taylor, managing director of JR Group UK, explained that creating sustainable, technical products is at the centre of the group’s plans for its new project.

James said: “Our objective for the project has always been to process difficult-to-recycle, post-industrial and consumer textile products such as carpets, mattresses and contract fabrics destined for landfill, then convert them into valuable flame retardant and hygienic products designed for a range of markets.

“This new facility will enable us to take our green credentials and our business to the next level. We will be the only business in the UK able to make these products and we’re very proud to be able to do this in the heart of Yorkshire in line with our proud history.

“We aim to not only create a sustainable method of production within Bradford, but also generate over 40 jobs and safeguard many more - jobs that would have been lost due to the unpopular product and old manufacturing methods they previously employed.”

Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “I am delighted we have supported JR Group UK on this project that will create jobs and boost the local economy.

“It’s great that our strong industrial heritage in textile manufacturing continues to grow and it’s a real success story for Bradford, the textile industry and the region as a whole.”

Alain Dilworth from the Regional Growth Fund, also commented: “The Textiles Growth Programme (TGP) was pleased to be able to support this project as it presented a strong business case overall, with a clear growth rationale.

“The project is strongly aligned to the strategic objectives of the TGP offering a strong return on investment and a public sector cost per job that represents good value for money.”

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