David Cameron Shows his Support for British Made Fashion and Manufacturing

Staff at a Derbyshire-based fashion company found themselves the unlikely stars of a party political broadcast when David Cameron made a surprise visit to the David Nieper factory in Alfreton, Derbyshire.

His visit followed the launch of his party’s local election campaign with the 50 year-old family business becoming one of the settings for the filming of his party political broadcast, due to be aired Friday 20 April on ITV1 at 6.25pm and BBC1 at 6.55pm.

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In the video, he says: “Here’s a really good example of a family business that has kept in Britain, invested in Britain and expanded in Britain.”

Spending over an hour touring the company’s design studios and factory, and talking with staff, the Prime Minister pledged his backing to British fashion manufacturing with staff making the most of the opportunity to ask questions and give their views on what more should be done to help the economy and UK textiles trade.

David Cameron, said: “David Nieper is a brilliant manufacturer of clothing and I was very impressed by the design service they offer, the manufacturing, the selling – they do everything and all here in Derbyshire. It is a hard-working company and a great example of the very best of Great British fashion manufacturing.”

Staff were asked if they had any topical questions to ask the Prime Minister with subjects ranging from the retirement age and pensions to student loans and incapacity benefit.

Sheila Rhodes, seamstress, asked the Prime Minister on the video: “What are you going to do to try and get the textiles trade back in the UK”.  David Cameron responded: “We need to help fund more apprenticeships, so you can get young people into the business, we’ve got to keep the business taxes down so that businesses can put money in and expand … and keep interest rates low.”

Another one of the staff David Cameron spoke to during the visit was Charlotte Bryan, a graduate from The University of Lincoln with a BA Hons in Fashion Design.  Charlotte joined the company full-time after winning a David Nieper Fashion Academy competition that included a paid internship as part of the prize.

Charlotte Bryan, said: “The Prime Minister asked for my views on what it’s like for graduates looking for jobs and what more could be done to help young people and graduates into work.”  She continues, “It really is hard and many of my friends are struggling to get work especially if they haven’t got experience in a real-life working environment.

“It would be great if more could be done to support and encourage more companies like David Nieper to open their doors to graduates and young people to provide training and internships – it really is the best way to learn skills, on the job.”

Christopher Nieper, managing director at David Nieper, concludes: “We welcomed the Prime Minister’s visit, his interest and pledge to support British fashion manufacturing and to get the textiles trade back in the UK. Our company and 200+ staff is very much proof that fashion can and is still being made in the UK.

“Our family company has grown consistently because business is all about people, they are our capital.  Investing in people with training and providing opportunities will ensure that ‘Made in Britain’ manufacturing will have a future and we welcome any support for this.”