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Challenges of Commercial Laundry Industry to be Discussed in Westminster Meeting

Challenges of Commercial Laundry Industry to be Discussed in Westminster Meeting
15 May 2023

The Textile Services Association has gained support to hold a cross-party Westminster meeting to discuss the ongoing issues facing the commercial laundry industry. 

Derek Thomas, MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives), agreed to sponsor and to help organise the meeting, after convening with The Textile Services Association (TSA). Association member Luke Edwards from Mounts Bay Laundry in Penzance helped set up and attended the meeting, as Derek is his local MP.

An invitation will soon be sent to TSA's members' local MPs.


Laundries and Their Essential Services to Healthcare, Hospitality and Food Processing Sectors


The TSA is the trade association for the textile care services industry, representing commercial laundry and textile rental businesses. Its remit is to raise the industry’s profile, particularly in light of the increase in global energy prices. The most recent laundry cost index (for Q4 2022/23) shows an annual increase of 9.34 per cent. The TSA has consistently lobbied the government to support commercial laundry owners, emphasising how the industry impacts MP’s local constituencies and provides essential services to the healthcare sector.

A recent survey from the TSA shows that more than half (55 per cent) of laundry businesses have experienced long-term impacts (financial and/or operational) from recent energy and other cost increases. The group also claims that 90 per cent of hospitals would be forced to close after just one day without the support of commercial laundries. Hotels, pharmaceutical plants food processing factories would also struggle to operate.

The aim of the upcoming cross-party meeting will be to provide an overview of the commercial laundry industry, underlining the value it brings to the UK economy and the reliance of both hospitality and healthcare on the industry. In addition, it will look to develop a strategy to allow the industry to engage in the Energy Efficiency Taskforce.

"We are hugely grateful to Derek for his help and for being such a strong advocate for our industry," says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “Derek had previously visited Mounts Bay Laundry and so had a good understanding of the scale of the industry and its challenges.  The Westminster meeting covered a lot of ground, including energy support, labour shortages and, more generally, what the industry can do to ensure that it is visible to the government going forward. Also, demonstrating the industry's role it plays in supporting the UK economy and how it can help the government achieve its sustainability targets.”

“The work has resulted in many MPs visiting laundries and recognising the importance of our industry. At last, after all the lobbying by TSA and its members, the government is starting to listen to commercial laundries," David continued. "The support from Derek and other MPs is critical if we are to drive the messages home.  But this is just the beginning, we can't let up.  There is much work to do."   

Picture: a photograph showing, from left, Emma Andersson of the TSA with Luke Edwards, Derek Thomas MP and David Stevens seated at a table. Image Credit: TSA

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 15 May 2023


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