A year ago, when the loan was first announced, the government had promised to bring about a £1.5bn boost to the industry, with £150m of the money going towards the repair of existing mills.
But in the year since, the investment has fallen short of the £1 billion target, leaving the industry struggling to cope with the changing needs of its workers and suppliers.
The industry’s leaders have accused the government of having failed to meet its commitments and criticised the new Treasury chief, Greg Clark, for failing to respond to the problem.
John Rufus, managing director of the British Craft Industry Association (BCIA), said: “This is a big disappointment.
We need a plan’The BCA has urged the government to “immediately” invest in the industry to help it rebuild, and said it was concerned that the new loan would mean the industry’s workers are left to cope without proper support.””
We have invested in our workers and we are still not doing that.”‘
We need a plan’The BCA has urged the government to “immediately” invest in the industry to help it rebuild, and said it was concerned that the new loan would mean the industry’s workers are left to cope without proper support.
“The fact that the BCA is now in this position is a significant disappointment,” said Mr Rufust.
“The BCEA wants to be sure that the Government can provide some plan to the British craft industry.”
We are in this situation where we need a new plan.
“Mr Clark said he was committed to ensuring the government was providing a long-term loan to ensure the industry could rebuild.”
It is clear that the financial commitments made to the BCEAs [British Craft Industry Associations] by the previous Government have not been met,” he said.”
That’s why we are taking this action to provide a loan to the industries most vulnerable.”‘
An absolute disaster’The Government said it had invested in 1,300 of the Bancroft-led mills, but only 12 were fully operating at the end of March.
It said that, after a £250m investment in the first quarter of this year, the number of Bancor’s Bancorf-led plants had grown to 1,200.
The Government has also announced plans to give £20 million to the government’s investment bank to fund the construction of new mills, including new plants at Harrods and Harroden.
A total of £2.5 billion has already been earmarked for the industry.
But critics said the loan could have been better spent, with the BCoA claiming that the investment had not been delivered on time.”
This is absolutely a disaster,” said Ms Brown.”
If the government hadn’t taken a loan in March and April it could have delivered the £10m that the government promised.””
It’s a complete disaster and the government needs to take responsibility for this.
“These are the workers that are going to be the backbone of the industry for the next generation.”
There is absolutely no money for the people to pay for the repairs, and the people have been left out of this.”‘
No one is in charge’Despite the lack of funding, the Baccoa’s chief executive, John Bancrecht, said that the industry was still in the dark about its future.”
No one knows when it’s going to get the money, and no one is responsible for the company,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.”
I can only speak from my own experience.
It is a disaster.”‘
Unprecedented’The latest figures from the BPI show that the number one cause of closure and loss of employment was the closure of mills in Cornwall, with nearly 100 mills affected in the country’s most vulnerable industrial areas.
The Bancorgar’s chief operating officer, Chris Cuthbert, said the situation had been made worse by the government, which had not paid dividends to the companies for five years.”
At the end we were told the company could be in administration for five to 10 years,” he added.”
Then they came in with this £100m loan to make it all go away.”‘
I don’t think it’s good enough’John Ruffus, the chief executive of the BAI, which represents British Craft Workers, said: ‘It’s an absolute disaster for the British crafts industry.’
There is no money to pay the workers.’
They are the backbone’The BAI has previously warned that the funding was inadequate to support the workforce.”
One of the things that was very difficult about this is the number and nature of the problems,” said John Ruffust.”
Every one of these mills is suffering and the workers are not in a position to say how much money they need to get by.
“So I don’t believe that this is good enough.”‘
A disaster of historic proportions’British Craft Workers says the number is the worst it has seen in its 38-year history.
“Many of these workers have been in this industry