When the green door finally shuts after the Christmas wind down, the unassumingly named Milton Shed, of Cawthra Bros Ltd - Commission Weavers, will see yet another door firmly closing on the British textile industry.

The owners, brothers Mervyn and David Cawthra, are retiring and there is no longer anybody working in the business with them to take it over. This Halifax based weaving house, which has provided woven fabric for royalty and top international brands, will simply and unceremoniously close when the brothers finish at the end of this month.

Their grandfather set up the business, approximately 100 years ago and they joined their father on leaving school at the age of fifteen. The company employed up to sixty staff at one point but as the textile industry shifted overseas they had to steadily let more and more staff go, until only they remained. "We have been able to survive because we are able to do small runs and keep our overheads tight but it is very tough to be profitable when the competition is so cheap," explained Mervyn.

No Government funding for bluetongue vaccine With bluetongue vaccine costing around £25 plus vat for twenty doses, and in spite of the fact that the government urges farmers to vaccinate, it has made it clear that it is not likely to fund the bill for bluetongue vaccine next year. The vaccine, which does not keep once opened, makes vaccination very expensive for small producers as two shots have to be administered for effective protection.

This may be why less than three in five producers vaccinated against the disease during 2008. Around 90 per cent of producers in south-east England vaccinated livestock, but poor uptake further north meant vaccination levels across the country as a whole were below 60 per cent.