If anyone has doubts about the future of manufacturing in Britain, I invite them to take a look at BCW in Burnley.
Among other products, it makes automotive components for companies like Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover at its two sites. I paid a second visit to the company with MP Gordon Birtwistle, four or five years after my first visit, and was impressed by the company’s growth over that time, its exciting plans for future expansion, and by its ethos. In how many boardrooms do you hear the bosses talking about how to build the sort of successful business for which people would really like to work?
Mind you, BCW is far from being the only company in Burnley to make you optimistic about our manufacturing industry. Gordon has taken me to many fine businesses over the years that work at the cutting edge of technology. So often it’s manufacturing at its best, clean, efficient, high-tech and environmentally sensitive. I always come away sharing his enthusiasm for the town, its skilled people, and both the achievements and potential of its industry. Our country would be better off if more of those who end up working for financial institutions in London took a look at what they could instead be accomplishing by making things of value here.
Gordon Birtwistle and I don’t agree on every detail of Liberal Democrat policy, but on the need to rebalance the economy we are united. I admire him hugely. To use the American term, he’s a real pork-barrel politician. He goes to the centre of power and comes back with a thick slice of bacon for the place he represents. I look at the investment taking place around Burnley, investment that will create hundreds of new jobs and strengthen the manufacturing base, and can’t think of an MP who has succeeded in doing more for his town.
Lib-Dem MEP North-West