Made in Yorkshire News
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Manufacturers demonstrated their support for Yorkshire’s manufacturing community with a show of strength at this year’s Made in Yorkshire Expo.
Close to 100 exhibitors helped to fill the Centenary Pavilion at Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, with stands representative of the diverse range of industries which characterise the sector in the region.
The powerful demonstration of the broad range of companies and skills helped to impress the guest of honour - former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott - as well as the hundreds of visitors who filed through the exhibition hall during the course of the show.
Several visitors were so impressed by what they saw that they agreed to join the MIY ranks on the spot - testament to the growing strength and influence of this unique network.
Lord Prescott, who addressed the audience in the seminar area on the need for a dedicated Yorkshire Industrial Strategy, was also one of those to be impressed.
“I’m not an expert on manufacturing but I have learned more here today from talking to your members than I have in a long time,” he said.
He said it was down to organisations like Made in Yorkshire to help promote the need for a coherent industrial strategy so that the area could put pressure on Government to introduce devolved powers for Yorkshire.
“Yorkshire needs devolved powers now. We have to start spreading that message and it is through organisations such as Made in Yorkshire that we shall achieve this,” he added.
His words resonated with many members, most saying they endorsed his comments and that the more recognition the needs of Yorkshire manufacturers received then the better it would be for industry.
With such a show of strength it was natural to assume the event would attract the interest of buyers and other interested parties - and so it proved.
Many members exhibiting on the day said they had received interest and that the standard of inquiries was very positive. Several members said they were hopeful of converting these inquiries into firm orders.
David Masters, group managing director of OE Electrics, said: “It was our first time exhibiting and we were very impressed - we’ll certainly be back next year.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in our stand today and we’ll be following up the inquiries straight away.”
Melissa Playle, of Hesco Group, said: “We were very happy to be here today and we had a lot of interest in what we do, not least from Lord Prescott, who seemed very interested to hear about what are doing.
“Getting to speak to someone of his standing was great and there’s no way we would have been able to do that without the help of Made in Yorkshire.”
The expo’s seminar area was also well attended during the event, with delegates keen to hear some of the interesting case stories from MIY members.
A presentation by Allan Joyce, managing director of Balmoral Tanks, covered the growth of the business in recent years and how much of this could be attributed to the company’s inclusive workforce.
The company has been one of the first to embrace Made in Yorkshire’s new Inclusivity campaign, which demonstrates how an inclusive workforce can aid the productivity of a business.
Elsewhere, Ben Wilson, managing director of MPM, spoke about the inspirational journey his business had been on this year after it was threatened with closure following a devastating fire in February.
He outlined how the whole workforce had pulled together to ensure that the company was back in full production, in new premises, just a fortnight after February’s blaze.
He also offered members valuable advice on the lesson s he had learned as a result of his experience and recommended preventative measures people should make in order to protect their businesses should the worst occur.
Chrissie Gale, director, Made in Yorkshire, said: “We have had some incredible manufacturers here today and we have done Yorkshire proud. I would like to thank all the members who participated in the event and helped to make it such a success.
“It’s also pleasing to hear that so many firms had a positive experience and that they will be participating again.
“We believe it is the showcase that the Yorkshire manufacturing community deserves and the presence of Lord Prescott this year only serves to underline why Made in Yorkshire is now the leading industry support organisation in the county.”