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Chancellor ‘refreshed’ by Silsden company progress
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told staff at a global engineering firm based in Silsden they were part of a national recovery in manufacturing.
Mr Osborne was a guest of Advanced Actuators, which makes complex hydraulic machinery used in the gas, oil and nuclear industries around the world.
And after enjoying tea and a chat with apprentices beside a giant mechanism bound for Mexico, he also paid tribute to the firm’s policies of employing local youngsters and using engineering parts made in Airedale.
“I’ve been hugely impressed by the advanced manufacturing that’s taking place here in Silsden,” the Chancellor said.
“What’s great about this company is that it uses other local companies to make parts for things which are exported around the world.
“And it’s impressive the way they bring on the apprentices in their workforce.
“It’s a real vote of confidence in British manufacturing and the West Yorkshire economy – I find it hugely refreshing to see this happening,” he said.
Mr Osborne had been invited to Advanced Actuators by Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins, who was also on last Thursday afternoon’s visit.
Chris Woodhead, a director of Advanced Actuators, said: “We’ve really benefited from the new export finance scheme, where 80 per cent of any loan to a company is guaranteed by the Government.
“It’s been fantastic to have Mr Osborne here and show him what we’re doing with youth employment, other local firms and global exports.
The firm, which had a £3 million turnover last year, has just won a £300,000 contract in China and spent £1m with local suppliers.
The Chancellor and Mr Hopkins then travelled to Haworth to talk to local traders about the new Employment Allowance, worth up to £2,000 off an employer’s National Insurance Contributions bill.
Mr Osborne stopped off at Cobbles and Clay, an art cafe and pottery on the Main Street, and other shops.
Discussing the benefits of the allowance, Mr Osborne said: “This new tax cut is part of our long-term economic plan to back businesses investing in jobs. That is how you deliver greater economic security for hard-working people.”