§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what proportion of national industrial capacity is made up of textile and apparel manufacturing; 
(2) what recent representations he has received regarding the future of the United Kingdom textile manufacturing and apparel industry; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what assessment he has made of the reasons for the declining capacity of the UK textile manufacturing and apparel industry; 
(4) what recent steps his Department has taken in the domestic and international markets to promote the interests of the UK textile manufacturing and apparel industry; 
(5) what recent steps his Department has taken to encourage expansion in the capacity of the UK textile manufacturing and apparel industry. 72W
§ Mr. Alan Johnson
The Government are committed to retaining a viable textile and clothing industry and are keen to ensure that it remains as competitive as possible. With this aim in mind, my Department has worked closely with the industry-led Textile and Clothing Strategy Group (TCSG), which was established in 1999 in response to concerns from the industry about its future. We have extensive contact with the industry but it is through this forum that we receive the most comprehensive representation. The TCSG report, "A National Strategy for the UK Textile and Clothing Industry", was published on 6 June 2000, and includes a series of recommendations for action, directed both at Government and industry.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry together with my hon. Friend the Minister for Employment, Welfare to Work and Equal Opportunities made an immediate and positive response to these recommendations at the launch of the Strategy with an initial 12 Point Plan for the Industry. This package of measures is designed to enable the industry to develop and to adapt to the challenges of the knowledge economy.
The plan includes measures to support design talent, to promote and support the development and exploitation of technical textile materials as well as additional help to exporters. The extended support for exporters includes the temporary relaxation of the rules for trade fair support to enable more textiles and clothing companies to receive assistance at certain events. Trade Partners UK spent £2.8 million on SESA supported events for the financial year 2000–01 in the textiles and clothing sectors. This compares with £1.5 million in 1999–2000.
The package also provides programmes to help retrain workers who might be affected by decisions that have been taken on closures. Details of the 12-point plan and its implementation and other support available can be found on http://www.dti.gov.uk/support/textile.htm
The Government fully recognise that for a variety of reasons, including globalisation, new technology and restructuring, the textile industry in particular is under significant pressure. Government assistance in total to the textile and clothing industry since coming into office in May 1997 amounts to more than £75 million, including more than £40 million granted to textile and clothing companies by way of regional selective assistance (RSA). This RSA support has been spread across a large number of companies and has led to investment by the companies concerned of a further £250 million, safeguarding or creating 10,000 jobs in the sector.
The DTI's Consumer Goods and Services Directorate is also currently helping to fund around 30 projects aimed at supporting innovation and boosting competitiveness, and these will also encourage growth in the sector and contribute to safeguarding employment.
Value added of the UK textile and clothing industry represented 4.3 per cent. of manufacturing Gross Value Added (0.8 per cent. of total Gross Value Added) in 1999, the latest whole year for which data are available.73W
Comprises Standard Industrial Classification Subsection DB—Manufacture of textiles and wearing apparel; dressing and dyeing of fur.
Office for National Statistics—derived from United Kingdom National Accounts 2000 ("The Blue Book", Table 2.3