Last week I met the Cornwall Manufacturers Group. The group was started in 2012, with the addition of SME manufacturers to the Cornwall Manufacturers Forum of the largest manufacturing companies in the county. Members come from various sectors, including agricultural machinery and medical equipment.
The Group comes together as a means of sharing information, and discussing the wider manufacturing industry in Cornwall. It aims to encourage and assist the development of manufacturing in Cornwall. The switch of emphasis towards manufacturing is feeding into an economic revival in areas like Camborne and Redruth, which have traditionally been centres of excellence for industry and engineering.
A great example is that of European Springs and Pressings. Based in Redruth, European Springs and Pressings recently took on a project that highlighted the technological expertise of its workforce. The company formed part of a design solution to West Ham Football Club’s new football ground.
Teagle Machinery is another great example of a Cornish success story. It is a world leader in its sector. It remains a private company owned by the same Teagle family who founded it. The number of staff employed has more than doubled in the last ten years. More than half of everything the company makes is exported as far afield as Japan, the US and Eastern Europe. It has achieved success by achieving the highest standards and by constantly reinvesting in research and development to create new designs which offer engineering solutions to the challenges of modern farming.
I would like to see more support for manufacturing businesses. We need to be more willing to lend a hand to those companies which have a proven track record and might achieve a lot more with some targeted help on things like developing export markets and research and development. Leaving the EU creates an opportunity to modernise and improve the way we target grant support for businesses.