MP addresses manufacturers group

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Local MP George Eustice has been sharing the Government’s prospects for business with members of the Cornwall Manufacturers Group (CMG).

The MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle was guest speaker at the group’s AGM, where he touched on key concerns including trade deals, productivity, investment, education and the industrial strategy.

And commenting on the General Election result, he said: “It wasn’t what we expected but we’re reading, hearing and dealing with the result.”

Touching on Brexit, he said: “A comprehensive customs agreement for free trade is essential for manufacturing. We’re working on an ambitious deal but it will allow free trade to continue.”

With representatives from leading manufacturing companies across the county in the room, many questions were aimed at Eustice touching on investment, apprenticeships, STEM and the future of the industrial strategy.

Members were pleased when Eustice raised the UK Prosperity fund as a replacement for EU Structural funds, confirming that organisations would be means tested regionally, allowing a greater proportion of the funding to be allocated to worse off regions.

He said: “We’re encouraging businesses to access the funds. The goal of the UK prosperity fund is to secure a greater balance between productivity and job creation and underwrite longevity.

“Technical education is also an inspiring focus for the industrial strategy and can only strengthen the UK’s manufacturing and engineering global status.”

Eric Nicholls, chair of the CMG, concluded: “The event was a great success and we’re thankful to George for listening to our concerns. As the ninth largest industrial nation in the world, we don’t need barriers to trade or business. We need partnership, flexibility within investment grants to not be so sector focused and a true understanding of how commercial businesses work.

“We’re hopeful that the future of the industrial strategy recognises these key concerns.”