For the first time, probably in my lifetime, there’s a real sense of optimism about the future of British manufacturing.
Manufacturing is so important to Pendle, and it’s great to hear positivity from local companies, in every sector I visit, from textiles to aerospace.
Our economy is growing again – with Britain forecast to grow faster than any other G7 economy this year. We have more people in work than ever before – with businesses adding around 10,000 new manufacturing jobs to our economy every month. Orders are increasing. Exports are rising. Output is up.
That’s no accident. It’s down to the hard work and ideas of companies like Hope Technology in Barnoldswick which I took the Prime Minister to visit and ACDC in Barrowford who are now working on some of the most prestigious building projects globally.
In November, while preparing for a debate on the furniture industry, I found out Silentnight and Buoyant Upholstery now employ 1,600 people between them, a significant increase in just the last few years. These fast growing businesses support so many smaller ones that keep our local economies alive.
That’s why I remain committed to doing what I can to support manufacturing. Tackling the big issues – skills, access to finance and grants, innovation and technology – and identifying what government can do to help.
Soon after the election the Government significantly increased capital allowances, something the Chancellor credited me with having pushed for. I’ve helped secure millions in grants that have helped our businesses expand and from July Pendle companies can get additional help thanks to “assisted area” status which I secured for over 50% of Pendle.
After so many years of decline, under successive governments, it would be foolish to claim we have decisively reversed the trend. But we are seeing results and laying firm foundations for a revival of British manufacturing.