CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF NEW BALANCE MADE IN UK5 October 2022
In celebration of 40 years of New Balance Made in UK, the label invited attendees for a two-night celebration at the legendary Flimby factory.
40 years ago, New Balance opened the doors to its first Cumbrian factory in Lillyhall, before relocating along the coast to Flimby nine years later. It marked the beginning of what would blossom into one of the most important lineages not just in the label’s identity, but the sneaker world in general: New Balance Made in UK. It’s a representation of four decades sat at the cutting-edge of footwear, with New Balance and its Flimby factory being a steadfast proponent of premium domestic craft, high-quality materials and forward-thinking sneaker technology.
In light of the 40th anniversary, New Balance invited END. and other members of the community for a two-night stay in yurts on the legendary Flimby factory premises, transforming the factory from production line to an event and exhibition space. The event kickstarted with a guided tour of the factory, allowing visitors to see behind the curtains and witness first-hand the meticulousness adopted at each stage of the craft. This included the selection and grading process of materials suitable to form part of a Made in UK shoe, including the build process and even a pair being boxed up and ready for sale or retail distribution.
The surrounding areas of Flimby also served as elements of the celebration, with a walk around its serene, undulating landscapes followed by an evening spent at a local pub, The Bitter End. The festivities culminated on the second evening with a party which took place on the factory floor, with the Flimby Male Voice Choir, who featured on the recent 40th anniversary campaign video, serenading guests into the factory. Following this was a performance showcasing the best in Northern Soul, with a set from Roy who had recently retired after working at the New Balance factory for 38 years.