Shepherd Neame supports local manufacturer with large order for protective masks

4th June 2020

Shepherd Neame is continuing its efforts to support local businesses by ordering 3,000 cloth face masks for its team members from a famous Kent-based racing seat company.

The Faversham-based independent family brewer and pub operator placed the order for the masks with Tillett Racing Seats based in Sittingbourne earlier this month.

Tillett Racing Seats is one of a number of businesses with a sewing capability in Kent and Sussex to have shifted production to making non-medical cloth face masks as part of the Make Masks UK initiative, operated by a team of eight volunteers and supported by Locate in Kent, Kent’s official investment agency.

Other manufacturers who have signed up so far include exclusive furniture maker Atmosphere Limited from Westgate-on-Sea and bespoke military textile company Jarvis Manufacturing from Eastbourne.

All the masks produced for the Make Masks UK initiative meet the BSI-recommended AFNOR spec S76-001, and can be washed and reused.

Gavin Cleary, CEO, Locate in Kent, said: “The lockdown may be easing at last but for our business community to fully bounce back, collaboration and partnership across sectors are going to be key as the UK economy gets going again.

This is a great example of that. I am delighted that Shepherd Neame has connected with Tillett Racing Seats in support of Make Masks UK, an initiative which has shown the innovation and adaptability of the region’s manufacturing sector in challenging times.

For Shepherd Neame, Kent’s original success story, this order comes at an important time as restrictions begin to lift on the county’s food and drink sector.” 

Chief Executive Jonathan Neame said: “We are committed to supporting local businesses, and when looking for a supplier of face masks to ensure the safety of our people, we were delighted to be able to source them from a business based just a few miles from the brewery. The masks will be used by workers at the brewery and across our pub estate when they reopen, to complement other protective measures and social distancing rules.”

Companies interested in buying masks can find out more at

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