Paving the Way for the Future of UK Upholstery Manufacturing
In the final part of our mini series looking at how Whitemeadow supports its customers, we are looking to the future and the ways in which Whitemeadow are investing in the UK upholstery industry. Inspiring the next generation through engaging with school children, helping re-train the local community in key upholstery skills and investing heavily in new facilities are just a few of the ways we demonstrate our dedication to ensuring Whitemeadow stays at the forefront of the industry way into the future.
In 2017, Whitemeadow Upholstery and The Furniture Makers’ Company were delighted to announce the launch of the first-ever Whitemeadow Upholstery Design Award. Whitemeadow Managing Director, Ian Oscroft commented at the time: “We know that to ensure Whitemeadow stays at the forefront of the industry, we need to continually bring fresh new designs to the market and to that end we encourage a working climate for inspiration”. The first placement was so successful that we have now welcomed our second student, Megan Glew, a Product Design student from Nottingham Trent University, into the Design department for a 1-year placement.
And we’re not stopping there, we’re going back to school! We're helping to inspire the next generation of designers and furniture makers by supporting a campaign organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity. We are sponsoring eight schools within the Nottinghamshire area, where the company was founded and still based today. Launched in 2014, the School Design Prize raises awareness of the furnishing industry among school children by rewarding them for their design & technology course work. Whitemeadow believe it is absolutely key for our industry that we focus on developing the next generation and we are keen therefore to support this initiative within our local area. Hopefully we will see some of these young faces working at Whitemeadow in the future!
Later this year we are due to launch our Sewing School for local people who would like to train as sewing machinists. The idea behind our sewing school is to encourage people to pursue a career in upholstery manufacturing and equip them with the technical skills and experience they need to make a go of it.
And finally, we are delighted to unveil our brand new, state of the art Design and Development Centre. We have invested more than £700,00 in the custom-built 13750 sq ft facility, which not only houses our full design and development team, but also a 4000 sq ft customer showroom!
We are confident that the investment Whitemeadow have made in their workforce and facilities at the front end of the business will stand us in good stead for the future and help strengthen our position as one of the most creative and innovative furniture manufacturers in the UK.