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Slough MP Tan Dhesi gains insight into the commercial laundry industry, a silent powerhouse of the UK economy

Posted on Feb 21, 2024

To better understand the intricacies of local industry and engage with constituents, Tan Dhesi, MP for Slough, recently paid a 2-hour visit to a bustling laundry factory in Buckingham Avenue on the Slough Trading Estate.

Slough MP Tan Dhesi gains insight into the commercial laundry industry, a silent powerhouse of the UK economy - News - CLEAN Services

The visit shed light on the critical role of the laundry and textile services industry in supporting the local economy and the wider national economy as a significant employer. Mr Dhesi is a massive promoter of his constituency, proud of large multi-national businesses due to the perfect positioning of skilled labour, transport links and access to international travel.

The factory's management team, including Site Director Richard Page, CLEAN's Director of Operations for Hotel Linen, John Newland, and colleagues, greeted the MP and provided a comprehensive tour of the facility. Mr Tan was impressed with the world-class laundry facility both in terms of its scale and energy efficiency. During his visit, he made time to experience life as a laundry professional by feeding sheets into an automatic ironing machine before meeting and speaking to production team members. Amidst the hum of machinery and the scent of freshly laundered linens, Mr Dhesi engaged with many of the 250 people who work at the factory, gaining insight into their daily routines, challenges, and aspirations. During the visit, the management team explained the difficulties laundries faced during the COVID lockdown period due to the lack of government support.

One of the key takeaways from the visit was the emphasis on the factory's role in job creation and economic stability within the community, along with the importance of the commercial laundry industry to several key sectors, including healthcare, hospitality, pharmaceutical and food. Without the services the commercial laundry industry provides, much of the economy would quickly grind to a halt; for example, hotels can only open with clean linen and towels and food factories and industrial companies cannot operate without uniforms and PPE clothing.

Moreover, discussions during the visit highlighted the critical role the government can play in supporting the textile services industry more widely through conducive policies and investments. Mr Dhesi pledged to advocate for initiatives to foster growth and sustainability within sectors like laundry services, recognising their contribution to local communities and the broader national economy.

Laundry services quietly underpin the UK economy, a vital yet often overlooked sector. Every week, the laundry service washes over 53 million pieces of linen and clothing to provide the workforce with clean uniforms and ensure a comfortable night's sleep outside the home. Textile services sit behind practically every sector of the UK's economy, creating revenue of £1.4bn, paying £550m in wages to employees, spending another £350m buying services and contributing over £200m in taxation to the exchequer. The demand for clean linens and uniforms is everlasting, from hotels to hospitals and restaurants to various engineering, manufacturing and transport industries. This covert industry ensures hygienic standards and fuels economic activity through job creation and supply chain engagement. While the spotlight shines on more prominent industries, the seamless operation of laundry services silently supports the functioning of businesses and institutions nationwide, making it an indispensable but often concealed cornerstone of the UK economy.

Mr. Dhesi's visit to CLEAN's laundry facility in Slough provided valuable insights into the dynamics of modern industry. The visit showcased the resilience of the workforce and the symbiotic relationship between policymakers and constituents in gaining a greater understanding of CLEAN's operation in Slough and the wider industry. Mr Dhesi expressed interest in advising the sector and invited CLEAN's management team to submit questions to government departments through him. He also expressed his intention to collaborate with the broader initiatives of the Textile Services Association to raise the industry's profile at the government level and participate in cross-party action groups in Westminster.


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Winner of The Green Apple Award Winner of ‘Most Innovative Company’ 2017 at the Laundry And Drycleaning Awards (LADAs) recognising companies, individuals, services and products that showcase a new level of customer service and professionalism within the industry. Awarded the ‘Sustainable Supplier’ title at the 2017 Footprint Awards; recognising organisations at every stage in the food supply chain from growers, producers, manufacturers and distributors, through to all hospitality and foodservice operators in both public and private sectors, their suppliers and other stakeholders. CLEAN has joined the list of inspirational British companies to feature as a 2016 finalist in the Amazon Growing Business Awards 2016: shortlist in the 'Company of the Year – Larger Firm category'. Winner of ‘Commercial Laundry of the Year’ 2016 at the Laundry And Drycleaning Awards (LADAs) recognising companies, individuals, services and products that showcase a new level of customer service and professionalism within the industry.