COMMENT - Return to making things

ENTREPRENEUR Mandy Summerscales’ determined mission to return clothes manufacturing to Wigan is one that deserves support.

Textile factories and mills once dominated the Wigan landscape, employing thousands of people and teaching them skills which they retained for life.

The loss of large-scale industry to the North has been fairly devastating: high unemployment with little prospect of finding jobs, once-thriving communities reduced to states of severe deprivation, and a national economy dependent to an unhealthy degree on financial services and London’s Square Mile.

It is possible to argue that Britain’s slow economic recovery can be directly traced to our lack of producing things, for all the Government talk about backing a “march of the makers”.

The era of the mills is gone, never to return. But let us hope that through initiatives such as Mandy’s, some young people can learn the old textile skills, and Wigan’s shops can once again sell things made right here.