An Angus company is to undertake a £3 million Chinese expansion, safeguarding 90 Scottish jobs in the process, the First Minister has announced.”
Kirriemuir-based J&D Wilkie is building a factory in Jianxing near Shanghai to enable it to produce technical textiles products, and increase its competitiveness by bringing its entire yarn-spinning operations into one location.
Nicola Sturgeon visited the site of the new facility with the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Jiaxing and presented a commemorative foundation stone to be laid at the location.
The firm began producing jute and flax in Scotland in 1868 and has almost doubled production since it established operations in China eight years ago.
The deal will safeguard 90jobs in Scotland and has the potential to double the J&D Wilkie positions in China, the SNP leader said.
It was also announced that Glasgow-based Digimania will set up a 3D animation software training partnership with the Shanghai Arts and Design Academy, as well as a joint venture with Chinese partner Pikatoons.
The deals will increase Digimania’s revenue from China by approximately £12 million over three years, creating 12 new jobs in Scotland and 14 news jobs in China.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Scotland’s textiles industry offers a unique fusion of rich heritage, innovation and unrivalled creativity, producing internationally revered products which are desired the world over.
“Across technical textiles, interiors and fashion, Scottish textiles offer the perfect mix of quality and innovation that Chinese businesses and consumers demand.
“J&D Wilkie has established itself in China and is looking to grow its business and seize on the opportunities open to the firm. They are a good example to other son how to expand into and benefit from foreign markets.”
Bob Low, director at J&D Wilkie, said the company had listened to our customers’ requirements to ensure its 150 year heritage in advanced textile technology was secure.
He added: “We can help solve their problems with our expertise and deliver tangible benefits with our know-how and ingenious solutions.
“We are proud to show the First Minister of Scotland the start of our new 180,000 sq foot factory being built in Jiaxing, China that will house an integrated spinning and weaving unit on one site.
“This will further strengthen our position in Europe where we have seen our Scottish weaving unit almost double since starting the yarn production in China”.