Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Saturday, 14 June 2008 13:26 UK

Assurances given to Tweed buyers

Model wearing clothes using Harris Tweed
Harris Tweed Textiles makes cloth for furnishings and fashion

A boss of a Harris Tweed business has said a "courageous" effort was needed to make sure customers were not lost to the industry.

Alan Bain, of Harris Tweed Textiles, commented following the Western Isles' main mill ceasing production until there was demand for its cloth.

He said the decision affecting the former Kenneth Mackenzie operation made business sense.

But Mr Bain said it may create the perception the industry was at risk.

Harris Tweed Textiles' Carloway Mill on Lewis makes cloth for soft furnishings and high fashion.

Liaison group

Mr Bain said: "At this stage, courageous action needs to be taken immediately to ensure that no existing customers are lost and that both new and former customers are introduced to the new industry environment."

He said plans to secure the industry's future were in place, but government assistance could prove crucial.

Mr Bain said the Harris Tweed Authority, Scottish Textile Association and enterprise agencies have committed themselves to doing more to promote the product.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's Harris Tweed industry liaison group next meets on 3 July in Stornoway.

Mr Bain said this could be the opportunity for government to put in place financial measures to regenerate and reinforce the industry.

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09 Jun 08 |  Highlands and Islands
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13 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands
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12 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands
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06 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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