Northern Clothing and Textile Network aiming to support growth in region

Northern Clothing and Textiles Network aiming to support growth in the region

The Northern Clothing and Textile Network is a result of a recent collaboration between David Reay of David Reay and Design Network North.

Design Network North, who hold the ever-popular monthly networking event, Rise and Design, teamed up with David Reay for a ‘Clothing and Textiles’ themed event. Not only was the event a success, but many of the guests expressed an interest in exploring the potential for a dedicated northern clothing and textile network.

Design Network North and David Reay held a Strategic Roadmapping session in the Northern Design Centre, Gateshead to discuss the aims and values of the new network and how it would look.

The 20 attendees are now considered the founders of the network, having contributed their ideas and thoughts on important issues such as product innovation, new market opportunities, advances in manufacturing processes, technologies and materials, skills and infrastructure.



The Northern Clothing and Textiles Network is Launching on the 18th November.
David chose to work with the team at Design Network North, the obvious collaborators on the project, as they host a highly successful design network for the region.

David said: “Design Network North is respected in the region as the go-to place for the design and creative industries. Successful collaborations, projects and profitable business relationships have started there. I want the members of the Northern Textile and Clothing Network to benefit from the same approach.”

Both parties are looking forward to seeing how the Clothing and Textiles Network can benefit the region and encourage growth in the sector.

“This is a great way for us to start the debate about the opportunities and challenges facing the clothing and textile industry in the North of England” said David.

“I want the network to be a source for great business as well as a source for great knowledge.”

Design Network North’s Network Manager Terry McStea said: “Supporting and encouraging local creative businesses is exactly what we were set up to do and, with David’s extensive knowledge and expertise in the fashion sector, we can help get clothing and textile businesses from around the region together for collaboration and to share ideas.

“This is a sector that is enjoying significant growth and we want to support it in any way we can”

David Reay has 35 years of experience in the clothing and textile industry, and has held senior posts with J Barbour & Sons, Jockey International and many other well-known international brands. David hails from the North East of England and is committed to furthering the renaissance of the clothing and textile industry in the North.

Design Network North, a project delivered by RTC North, was established in 2007 with the aim of increasing the contribution that design makes to the economy. They firmly believe that great design can improve any product, service or business. They support local businesses and their design projects in a variety of ways, through funding, workshops and one-to-one support.

Their Rise and Design events are held at the Northern Design Centre, Gateshead. Every Second Friday of the Month.


Northern Clothing and Textile Network is supported Design Network North, which is part of RTC’s new programme called ‘Designing Better Business’ – launched in 2016 - which will provide support for north east businesses looking to continue to innovate and design better world leading products. RTC was founded in 1989 with the sole purpose of helping businesses innovate and create new higher value products. Today, the business operates out of offices in Sunderland, Gateshead, Leeds and Daresbury and specialises in helping companies develop new products, embed new skills through training and access funding for innovation.

‘Designing Better Business’ is part funded by European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020