Details of a new state-of-the-art wool testing center, to be opened in North Wales and planned to service the Northern Hemisphere, were announced at the IWTO (International Wool Textile Conference) in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) and the New Zealand Wool Testing Authority (NZWTA) will jointly own the new company, Wool Testing Authority (UK) Ltd., with an allocation of potential shareholding and participation by an appropriate industry body.

With support from the Welsh Assembly Government through the Regional Selective Assistance Grant Scheme, the laboratory will be sited on the Cibyn Estate in Caernarvon. It will create around 17 full-time jobs and provide a full range of certification for greasy and scoured wool.

Dr. Alan Folwell, a metallurgist, with wide-ranging senior management experience in the UK carpet industry, will be chairman of the new company which will initially have four other directors, two from the BWMB and two from NZWTA.

NZWTA, with the assistance from wool research and testing bodies in other parts of the world, is building the equipment for the project to ensure the facilities are one of the most advanced and efficient in the world.