Large High Technology Mills
The 1959 Cotton Industry Act had two main aims: to reduce excess capacity and to re-equip with modern machinery. An earlier Cotton Spinning (Re-equipment Subsidy) Act had offered 25% re-equipment subsidies, but had been unpopular with employers. Cotton imports had continued to rise and many within the industry questioned the wisdom of reinvesting. By 1965 only a small proportion of new spindles and looms had been installed as a result of the Act.
Hand-in-hand with investment in new machinery came the creation of large 'super mills.' These appeared throughout the 1960s and 70s. Even these however could not compete with low-cost imports.
A more succesful strategy was to concentrate on specialised, high-quality goods. Hilden Manufacturing at Oswaldtwistle has pioneered this approach. It produces damask table cloths, which it sells to restaurants and hotels world-wide. Computer assisted design and high-performance Jacquard looms have made it the country's largest independent textile manufacturer.