A venerable Dundee textile company expects to create jobs in the city under a £1 million programme to support sustainable fabric production.

Waxed cotton producer Halley Stevensons has invested in specialised equipment that it can use to make products from recycled textiles and plant-based waxes.

Managing director James Campbell said the machinery would allow the firm to develop improved new products that last a lifetime.

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The privately-owned company has won £300,000 official support from Scottish Enterprise for the investment programme. This is expected to help the company safeguard 26 jobs and create four new ones.

The products developed could reinforce the global reputation of a business that is a survivor of the Victorian heyday of jute manufacturing in Dundee.

Halley Stevensons can trace its roots to a jute mill started in 1864. It pioneered the development of waxed cottons used in the manufacture of products such as sails and coats.

The company has won renown in recent years for supplying waxed cotton and waterproof fabrics used by fashion designers and the producers of high end back packs and the like.

Mr Campbell said environmental responsibility was at the forefront of the company’s product development effort. He noted it used raw materials and processes that were largely biodegradable and sustainable or had low impact on the environment.

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“Product development is the life-blood of our business and this investment will allow us to continue the good progress we have made so far and challenge ourselves to make new sustainable products,” said Mr Campbell.

He added: “Technology is evolving at a rapid rate and sustainable manufacturing requires the latest equipment to improve efficiency.”

Scottish Enterprise said the investment in sustainable fabric production provided an example of the kind of imaginative response to the challenge of climate warming that firms had to demonstrate.

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Head of business support services at Scottish Enterprise, Anke Heggie, said: “Halley Stevensons continues to create innovative textiles in Dundee that are used across the UK and globally by major brands and its ambition to create products from sustainable sources such as recycled cotton and environmentally friendly wax is exemplary.

“It is vital that companies embrace new ideas in consideration of climate change and this is a key principle of Scottish Enterprise in supporting a sustainable and prosperous economy.”

Halley Stevensons is using cotton waste, yarn and fabric cuttings and sampling dyes made from non- edible agricultural or herbal industries waste in its product development effort.

Scottish Enterprise provided a £300,000 Regional Selective Assistance grant to the firm.

Business minister Jamie Hepburn said the grant would allow the firm to support jobs and create products that are in demand globally.