Engineering Yorkshire: A picture of growth and recovery

Gears

5:06pm 19th March 2014
(Updated 3:37pm 22nd March 2014)

The UK is recovering - so says Chancellor George Osborne after delivering his 2014 Budget in the House of Commons.

It is a message reiterated by the science, manufacturing and engineering industries this week. The EEF organisation for manufacturers and engineers released a report on Monday stating that industries are enjoying growth, thanks to a combination of strong UK sales and a boost in overseas trade.

Its latest quarterly survey suggests a positive outlook, with record high recruitment and investment.

The Chancellor's Budget has given a helping hand to manufacturers. He is rolling back green taxes and there is an exemption from carbon costs.

Richard Bunter, PricewaterhouseCoopers' Yorkshire manufacturing leader, commented: "The £7 billion package to cut energy costs will have a positive knock-on effect on employment. Job creation in the sector hit a 33-month high in February and the latest announcement gives me confidence that this trend shows no sign of reversing.

"George Osborne wants a 'Britain that is making things again'. If today's plans go towards achieving this, we can expect to see an economic recovery supported by factories the length and breadth of the country."

But how do things currently stand in North Yorkshire? Stray FM investigates how local firms are viewing the current economic situation.

EnviroVent is based on Hornbeam Park in Harrogate. It manufactures indoor air quality units for homes to help people who may have asthma, condensation or mould problems.

The company could certainly be considered a proverbial poster boy for a growing economy. Since January, it has recruited a handful of people to take the workforce to 200. It has also just expanded the factory by another 30,000 square feet.

MD Nick Heaton said: "I think the future looks really bright. There seems to be a lot of initiatives coming out of the Government which seem to be pointing towards construction and getting things moving - which is great for us.

"We're now expanding nicely and creating good jobs."

 

Stepping just onto the border with Lancashire, Stray FM heads to Barnoldswick where three globally-recognised names have factories. Silentnight beds, Hope Technology and Rolls-Royce are all major employers in West Craven.

With the Tour de France Grand Départ looming this summer, it seemed only right to get the outlook from a manufacturer that makes bicycle parts. Hope Technology is a brand known across the globe, especially for high-spec mountain bike parts. It was also the first company to produce disc brakes for bikes.

Ian Weatherill is the co-owner of Hope Technology: "We're considered medium-sized, but we have 55 CNC machines. We do rapid prototyping, 3D printing and lots of new technology is used here.

"We've always been busy. One of the infuriating things people say is the expression 're-shoring'. We never off-shored. The Government is supporting companies that are bringing manufacturing back to Britain, but we have always manufactured in Britain. 98 per cent of our products are made in the UK.

"We never even noticed a dip with the recession."

Hope Technology is another constantly expanding company, growing by around 5 to 10 per cent a year. It exports 65 per cent of its products - an attribute which can be thanked for it barely being touched by the economic downturn.

Stray FM's Engineering Yorkshire special is highlighting the region's contribution to the industries during Science and Engineering Week.

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