Policy connect, who sustain the All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG), approached Made in Yorkshire to invite company directors from the region to discuss all things industrial strategy.
On Friday 13th September cross-party coalition of parliamentarians, manufacturers and industry organisations; AMPG and Yorkshire members gathered at Cummins Technology for a panel discussion. This was the second session of its kind, the first being held at Norton Motorcycles in Donnington.
AMPG work together with a variety of people to create new industrial policy ideas, critique existing policies and generally help the manufacturing community engage with the policy process.
There were presentations from Barry Sherman, local MP for Huddersfield and Co-chair at Policy connect, and Ian Smyth Head of Economic Policy WYCA. The panel discussion included Ian Smyth, Paul O’Donnell, Head of External Affairs, MTA Inquiry Commissioner, Alex Robison, director of Made in Yorkshire and Ben Carpenter Merritt, Policy Manager at Policy Connect.
Session 2 of the industrial strategy enquiry involved a factory tour of Cummins technology and numerous round table discussions. 25-30 Made in Members attended the discussion which involved areas and issues of challenges for manufacturing companies. Some of the issues discussed involved availability to take on apprentices, availability of land for expansion and issues around access to finance or grants to fund investments.
Made in Yorkshire member Geoff Illingworth Director of Illingworth Supplies attended the event to be part of a discussion that concerns his sector. Illingworth Supplies provide hardware, plumbing and heating equipment to external businesses. Geoff mentioned he would like to see places within Yorkshire to be seen as a community, rather than separate entities. He said:
“If we had representation for the whole of Yorkshire in terms of finance, seeing it as one community, it would be great as it would mean there would be another level of local government”.
Local Industrial Strategies are led by Combined Authorities with the aim of “coordinating local economic policy and national funding streams and establishing new ways of working between national and local government, the public and private sectors”.
Manufacturing is a major factor of the economy making up 23% of it, therefore is important for this factor to play a “central role in the industrial policy”.