HRH Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay, opened a new state of the art tailoring workshop for Campbell’s of Beauly, the Royal Warrant holding tailors and country outfitters based in the Highlands of Scotland.
Campbell’s of Beauly, which was founded in 1858 and has previously held Royal Warrants to the Duke of Windsor and HRH the Queen Mother as tweed mercers, said its new facility would allow the company to employ more staff over the next 18 months to meet growing demand.
John and Nicola Sugden, joint owners of Campbell’s of Beauly, said they were honoured to meet the Duke of Rothesay.
John Sugden said: “We are thrilled that HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, accepted the invitation to come and open our new workshop – this has been a wonderful day for the whole team here at Campbell’s, but moreover for the wider community of Beauly and the surrounding area. We are grateful for The Prince’s support and we are extremely fortunate to have enjoyed royal patronage for a number of years, including our most recent Royal Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen.
“Here at Campbell’s, we are committed to maintaining our craft and making it here in the Highlands. We employ a team of eight in our tailoring department and hope that the new expansion allows for us to take on two more staff in the short-medium terms and potentially four more in the long term.”
John’s late father James Sugden OBE was instrumental in setting up The Prince’s Foundation’s Future Textiles training initiative at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire. The programme, which was initiated in 2015, is designed to breathe new life into Scotland’s renowned textiles industry by providing expert tuition in traditional skills such as sewing, weaving and cutting to school pupils and adults looking to gain employment in the industry.
In May 2018, John was appointed as co-chair of Future Textiles alongside award-winning designer Patrick Grant. Through this role, John contributes his knowledge and expertise to help The Prince’s Foundation educate those with lesser opportunities and find solutions to bridge the industry skills gap created by decades of under investment in training.
“British manufacturing, particularly textiles, is on the up again and the biggest issue that the industry faces is the shortage of skills due to a lack of success and, thus, investment over the last 30 years. Step-by-step we can collectively start to turn this predicament around, and it starts from the grass roots upwards, and this means teaching traditional skills like those taught at the Dumfries House through The Prince’s Foundation’s Future Textiles programme.
“Hopefully our investment here at Campbell’s will allow for future graduates to be able to come to Campbell’s and gain work experience in a proper working environment”.
Campbell’s tailoring business represents around 45% of the company’s gross sales. “The foundations of our tailoring sales come from the many estates that maintain age-old traditions of estate tweeds.
“This relatively consistent business has given us the platform to be able to build our new facility with confidence. We also have a significant business in tweed jackets as well as Highlandwear, and the business has often been referred to as The Guardians of Tweed. The hope is that we can continue to grow and increase our footprint here in the Highlands”.
Over the past five years, Scottish estates have spent in excess of £1.3million on tweed, based on surveys conducted by Scotland’s seven regional moorland groups.