Fibre handling specialist Cygnet Texkimp is investing £1m to expand its machinery and materials research centre after receiving one third of funding for the scheme from the Textiles Growth Programme.
The investment will also create nine new jobs over the next two years as the Cheshire-based engineering company increases capacity across its R&D, mechanical and electrical design, and software engineering functions.
The firm will use the cash to develop six new pieces of technology for the technical fibre market, including two advanced testing lines and a ground-breaking multi-axis filament-winding and linear fibre-placement machine.
Growth plans include doubling the size of its research centre by creating a purpose-built clean room where customers can run full-scale, secure product trials.
Technical director of Cygnet Texkimp, Luke Vardy commented: “This major investment in R&D gives us and our customers the tools to be first to market with the best new technologies and is expected to have a significant impact on the future performance and direction of global technical fibre industries.
“Our approach will be to partner with our customers in the technical fibre manufacturing market to develop a series of new and novel technologies that offer more capability than ever before.”
Cygnet’s Group finance director, Bren Hutchinson added: “The funding from the Textiles Growth Programme has helped us to accelerate our investment in areas where we expect to see most growth in the coming decades, therefore enabling us to grow sales and jobs for Cygnet Texkimp and for our supply chain in the UK sooner than planned.”
The Textiles Growth Programme forms part of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and is a dedicated grant growth programme designed to drive investment in Britain’s textile supply chain, with a focus on the North of England.
According to figures supplied by the Textiles Growth Programme, the global market for technical textiles was worth £88bn in 2012 and is expected to grow to £105bn by 2018.