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Hebrides News


Carloway Harris Tweed mill saved from closure  

24 February 2017

The Carloway mill has been rescued from closure after a takeover deal.


The Harris Tweed manufacturing facility on the west coast of Lewis is being bought in a management buyout, saving jobs of 17 staff in the mill plus a similar number of self-employed weavers.


The plant is smallest of three Harris Tweed mills in Scotland.


The mill’s operations’ manager, Annie Macdonald and outside investor, Anthony Loftus have joined forces to set up a new corporate entity, The Carloway Mill Ltd.


57-year-old Mr Loftus, who works in the oil and gas industry, will play an active role in the business, said Ms Macdonald.


Former councillor, Annie Macdonald, said she is “delighted and excited” with securing ownership.


Otherwise the woollen mill faced closure this year with the loss of jobs in the plant plus a similar number of self-employed islanders who weave yarn into tweed at their homes within the Carloway community.


Ms Macdonald said: “I have a passion for Harris Tweed and I believe this signals a positive future for the mill.


“Harris Tweed plays an significant role in the culture, history and heritage of the Western Isles


“The most important outcome is that this retains jobs in this fragile rural economy.”


The new owners have plans to grow their business including capturing the interest in its recently introduced "premium" blend of softer fabric for the women’s fashion industry.


Test marketing returned a positive response from fashion houses opening up a strand of potential new customers interested in the lightweight style of Harris Tweed.



New Carloway mill director, Annie Macdonald