Northwest Manufacturing Forum meet Secretary of State, Vince Cable at inaugural meeting

May 21st, 2010

nwda_colourThe new Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills, Vince Cable visited the Northwest today stopping at Warrington to meet the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the new Northwest Manufacturing Forum.

Twenty senior private sector representatives from manufacturing organisations across the Northwest came together for their first meeting as the ambassadors for manufacturing in the region and were immediately addressed by Dr Cable before they commenced business for the first time as a Forum

Business Secretary, Vince Cable said: “My department will be the department for growth. We need to develop a stronger, more balanced economy that is less dependent on the City by building on the strengths of our manufacturing and other knowledge industries.

“The UK is open for business and we welcome the investment that is being made here by manufacturing companies, like Bentley, creating highly skilled workforces that will ensure our future growth.”

The Northwest Manufacturing Forum, set up and organised by the NWDA, has been formed to act as the face and voice of Northwest Manufacturing on the local, regional, national and international stage.

The industry-led Forum will steer the Northwest Manufacturing Strategy, launched at the end of last year, and influence the public sector actions within it. The Forum will identify ‘demand’ requirements and influence ‘supply’ provision, particularly from the public sector. This will allow the Forum to advise the public sector on the implementation of the Manufacturing Strategy; future developments of the strategy; and interventions in manufacturing going forward.

Robert Hough, Chairman of the NWDA, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the new Secretary of State to the Northwest today for him to hear at first hand the experience of our major manufacturers here in the region. The Northwest Manufacturing Forum, set up by the NWDA, will act as ambassadors and the voice for Northwest Manufacturing, helping to promote the diverse strength of our outstanding manufacturing sector. The Northwest’s manufacturing sector is the biggest in the UK and remains a major driver for improving GVA, contributing almost £20 billion to the regional economy.”

The NWDA will work with the Forum and partners across the Northwest to create a modern manufacturing sector in the region that will be innovative, enterprising, highly skilled, and well led.

The key responsibility of the Forum will be to strategically guide the implementation of all of the Manufacturing Strategy an Action Plan themes, prioritizing on key issues such as:
• Improving the image of Northwest Manufacturing
• Improving the interactions of business and education establishments on manufacturing issues
• Ensuring a highly skilled workforce at all levels
• A more responsive public sector.

The Forum is chaired by Duncan Craig, Vice President, Manufacturing Processes for Westinghouse. Duncan has over 30 years of manufacturing experience.


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