Senior Politician and a Lord Visit Patterson & Rothwell
P&R were very pleased to open its doors to the right honourable Lord Michael Heseltine and Deputy Prime Minister Mr Nick Clegg during a recent visit to the region to launch a £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund. The visit featured in several local newspapers and on the Northwest Tonight television programme.
The following extract was taken from a local paper reporting on the visit.
BRITAIN’S businesses have been urged by Government chiefs to follow the lead of a trail-blazing Oldham firm to secure economic recovery.
Oldham was at the centre of the coalition’s plans to boost business as the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg heaped praise on Greenacres firm Patterson & Rothwell Ltd.
Mr Clegg and Lord Heseltine visited the plastic injection moulding firm to announce the launch of a £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to help the private sector create jobs and that Greater Manchester’s proposal for a business-led Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) had been successful. The pair were impressed with how the company is using cutting-edge expertise to manufacture plastic products — traditionally done in Asia — and said other firms should follow suit.
LEPs are replacing regional development agencies (RDAs) to support businesses and local authorities in growing the local private sector. Businesses are invited to bid for the RGF money to expand and take on staff.
Mr Clegg and Tory grandee Lord Heseltine were given a tour of the Mount Pleasant Street premises. Mr Clegg told staff he was honoured to visit and it was amazing to see such innovation that showed Britain can be world beaters in manufacturing.
He said: “What I have seen today is exactly why we need to encourage companies like this to see a new form of growth in the British economy.”
He told the Chronicle it was inspiring and fantastic to see an innovative local company producing world-beating products.
He said others should copy the secret of their success to “constantly invest in people and products and make sure you are ahead of the curb.”
The Lib-Dem leader said the Government was giving local authorities freedom to borrow money and retain more of business rates to bring jobs and prosperity to the local area, while working with banks to lend more money.
He added: “I realise this is a time of uncertainty and anxiety. But we are not slashing and burning the public sector, we are striving to balance the books. We have to wipe the slate clean to move forward as a country.”
Lord Heseltine will chair the RGF committee which will allocate the funds.
He said the Oldham firm was exciting, having started from scratch to train people with no experience on sophisticated applications. It showed that manufacturing was no longer yesterday’s activity.
Mr Clegg said: “There’s no reason why Britain can’t compete and that’s the attitude we want to encourage — we can do it.”
The firm was founded in 1981 and has survived three recessions to employ 120 staff. Founder Alan Rothwell said they were proud to receive such praise and that investing in people and technology was behind their success.
Mr Rothwell said: “I think they were very pleasantly surprised with our engineering capabilities and the technology we are using in Oldham. We are preventing companies ordering from the Far East and Eastern Europe and we are manufacturing direct to them, which is a positive sign for the UK.”
Council leader Howard Sykes said: “The decision of the Deputy Prime Minister and his advisers to journey outside the capital demonstrates the value they place on borough’s such as Oldham.