The visit of Prime Minster David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne to Spooner Industries in Ilkley in February certainly will be a day to remember for many at the manufacturing and engineering firm. Their visit included meeting Spooner’s directors as well as tour of the offices and factory floor.
One focus of the visit was the Spooner apprentices. With 40 percent of the workforce (64 personnel) having started at the U.K. company either as apprentices or graduate trainees, the company’s long-term commitment to training is apparent. The figures include many long-service employees, including two who have completed more than 50 years’ service, which ensures unique skills sets are safeguarded for the future.
Also during the visit, the prime minster and chancellor tried out metal folding on the company’s new CNC press, which is typically used to manufacture Spooner ovens.
Of course, the business of government is business, or so they say, and company growth and development were front and center. Spooner’s year-over-year growth, level of sales and particularly exports drew the visitors’ attention. Of the approximately $44.7 million (£30m) forecasted turnover, 70 percent of this total will be for export sales to countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and United States, according to Spooner.
Summing up an unforgettable day, Spooner Managing Director Mike Brook said, “We were very proud to be selected to showcase our business to the prime minster and chancellor. Their interest and enthusiasm for our ambitions and achievements to date will resonate within the company for a long time to come. Despite our worldwide success, we remain committed to growth, Ilkley and the local community and hope our much needed expansion can be accommodated here.”