About MUTA

A proud history and an exciting future

Since 1919, MUTA has been working to improve standards in the marquees, tents and structures industry.  Our highly regarded Best Practice Guide is followed by our members, and we inspect them against it.  We promote the benefits of using MUTA members to those who hire marquees, tents and structures.

Our objectives are:

  • To promote best practice in the industry for the benefit of the general public.
  • To promote members' products, services and achievements.
  • To consolidate MUTA’s position as the 'voice' of the industry.
  • To instigate the creation and implementation of appropriate standards and regulations.
  • To facilitate networking and cooperation within the industry and its immediate constituency.
  • To employ the collective buying power of our membership to secure advantageous terms.
  • To be a source of information for members and the general public.

Our Story

MUTA was established on 14 January 1919 as "The Canvas Goods and Made Up Textiles Association", just after the end of the World War I. 

The eight founding members all traded in textiles, either as importers or as the end product manufacturers. They were involved in everything from recycling and manufacturing of jute bags, to making tarpaulins, loin cloths, and waterproof goods for the London horse-drawn carriages. Tent and marquee hire featured too, including frame and pole tents.

In 1939 many tents were required for the war effort, never to be seen again. So after the Second World War new stocks had to be manufactured to get the agricultural shows up and running again.

It was not until 7 May 1974 that the association changed its name to Made Up Textiles Association Limited, and we are known by a contraction of that name today - MUTA. 

To this day, the President's badge of office is a silver sailmaker's palm (a device for pushing needles through thick fabric) and a needle on a webbing sash. An earlier logo depicted the same.

MUTA was formed to help keep the industry together and to talk with one voice to Government departments and Standard making bodies. Today MUTA is actively involved in representing the industry within the British Standards Institute, CEN (European Committee of Standardisation) and the AGOTS committee of the Institute of Structural Engineers.  Its work in these areas is benefited by all in the industry - members and non-members alike. Its vital work is what helps us shape our industry, rather than leaving us all on the receiving end of rules that others create.

MUTA's networking through meetings and dinners helps to create fellowship amongst its members who, although often competitors, frequently help each other out when the need arises.

Today, the majority of members are hirers of marquees, tents or structures.  We still represent a thriving group of suppliers and manufacturers as well and these find a ready market amongst the hirer members.

To further strengthen MUTA, the following recent initiatives have been implemented:

  • The launch of the 'Use a MUTA Member' campaign - putting promotion of our members to their customers at the front and centre of our marketing for the first time.
  • Strengthening the inspection regime to underpin the core message that our members work to the highest standards.
  • A fresh new look at our website and documentation to present a modern, up-to-date image to the outside world, and to make access to benefits even easier for our members.
  • A complete change of personnel in our Member Services Team to deliver a much enhanced service to members.


Read more about Our Story
Meet the Team
MUTA is led by an Executive Committee with the day to day running of the association being handled by the Member Services Team.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is a small group of elected members that sets the strategy and direction for MUTA, and makes a significant contribution of time and effort to deliver new initiatives. All members of the Executive Committee are volunteers who give their time, commitment and energy for free; they all hold Director level positions in their respective businesses. 
Simon Bell Simon Bell, Treasurer, representing Suppliers & Manufacturers
Simon is the Technical Director of Custom Covers (1984) Ltd and has been working in this manufacturing industry since 1996. Custom Covers manufacture a wide range of industrial covers, including covers and decorative linings for tents and marquees. This gives Simon a good appreciation of all aspects of the MUTA membership from supplier to end user. 
Mark John, Inflatable Play
Mark is the Managing Director of Airquee Ltd, one of the UK's main inflatable manufacturers with a global distributor network. The company's head office, based in Bristol, and its own wholly owned subsidiary in Eastern Europe designs, manufactures and supplies many global brands and enterprises with inflatable games, air structures, promotional products and soft play foam products.
Richard Monaghan Richard Monaghan, representing Hirers
Richard is the Founder and Director of PapaKåta. Supplying Giant Teepee and Sperry tents to over 1,200 events, PapaKåta is trusted by individuals planning their dream wedding, and household names like Mini, Nike & BBC alike. PapaKåta is a full service provider supplying furnishings, facilities, power generation, and event management services, working with a range of industry suppliers who share their passion for quality.
Johnny Cooper, representing Hirers
Johnny is the Managing Director of Coopers Marquees Ltd who are based in Yorkshire but travel all over the UK. The greatest proportion of Coopers Marquees work is providing hospitatlity space for annual sporting events.  
Joe Baillie, representing Hirers
Joe Baillie is the Director of Baillies Marquees and has been working in the events industry for the last 20 years. Baillies Marquees is a family run business and were one of the first independent companies from Scotland to join MUTA.   
Andrew Spiers, representing Suppliers and Manufacturers
Andrew is the Sales Manager at Verseidag GmbH – UK Branch and has been working with them for nearly 10 years. Verseidag are a manufacturer of PVC for the tent industry but having the benefit of a UK warehouse in Cambridgeshire. He strongly believes in excellent customer service but with a passion to deliver to the needs of the customer.  
Sam Robinson, representing Developing Hirers
Sam is the Managing Director of Boutipi and a non practicing solicitor. Boutipi is a family run business based in Yorkshire and has been awarded England's wedding marquee provider of 2018 at the Wedding Industry Awards. The only wedding awards decided by customer votes.  The team advocate the highest standards in all aspects of their events (consumer or corporate), from the initial contact, to the event itself and the follow up.    

Member Services Team

The Member Services Team handle all the day-to-day running of the association as well as managing and delivering new projects.  

Andrew Chalk

Andrew Chalk, Operations Manager
Andrew is a marketing professional by training. He has worked with trade associations and charities on standards, training and product safety as well as providing marketing and member services.

Neil Payne

Sam Reed, Membership Support Co-ordinator
Sam spent 13 years working in the insurance industry before moving into the engineering side of logistics 14 years ago and has recently become the newest recruit to the Member Services Team. 


Joe Chalk, Membership Support Co-ordinator
Joe has had experience in customer services in the leisure and property industries before joining the Member Services Team.


Read more about Meet the Team
Contact Us
If you have a question, please get in touch.  

Postal address
Unit 10B Red House Yard
Gislingham Road
Thornham Magna
IP23 8HH

01379 788673

08712 647220

Read more about Contact Us
Did you know
Did you know?
MUTA members can now keep all their contact details up to date, advertise, view inspection reports and request Skills Cards online.
Just visit the My Account area.

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