Local politicians visited the British Wool Board at their depot in Newtown last week to discuss challenges being faced in the industry.

The Member of the Senedd for Montgomeryshire, Russell George along with Samuel Kurtz MS, Shadow Rural Affairs Minister and member of the Senedd’s Cross Party Group on Wool, and Craig Williams MP for Montgomeryshire, met with members of the board at their Newtown depot.

Around 25 per cent of British Wool is grown in Wales. The UK makes up two per cent of the global wool market, with Wales accounting for a quarter of this.

However, the industry has been in decline in Wales falling from 300 woollen mills to just three small-scale ventures.

The board is hoping for policy changes to protect the industry.


“I am happy to support their calls for the Welsh Government to source Welsh wool for government projects when it comes to building, forestry, and transport infrastructure, in the same way it does for food,” said Mr George.

“I also favour the need for product labelling to reflect the true provenance of the wool on the market as a Union Jack on the label does not mean a product is made from British wool – we do not want customers to have the wool pulled over their eyes.”

The British Wool Board is a public body but does not receive public funds instead it is owned by around 35,000 sheep farmers across the UK.

They collect, grade, marker, and sell British wool on behalf of producers on the international market.

At their Newtown site, and others across Wales, they accept wool from farmers and then they grade the wool to decide for what products they can be used, from clothes to mattresses to insulation.

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They were given a tour of the site by the board’s chief executive, Andrew Hogley, and graders Barry Bellis and Peter Pennlington.

Mr George said the visit to British Wool had been a “delight” and was interested to hear “more about the role they play in the agricultural sector, particularly their work with farmers in Mid Wales”.

“British wool is an excellent product of worldwide renowned and it is fantastic to see that Wales contributes more wool than any other of their regions across the UK," he added.