Prime Minister Theresa May visited single ply membrane manufacturer IKO Polymeric’s production facility in the old mining town of Clay Cross, on the 27th of April along with the newly-selected Conservative Party candidate Lee Rowley.
Her visit was part of the election campaign and focused on Brexit discussions; such as the current impact of the Brexit decision on UK manufacturers, and the importance of getting the best deal for the UK economy from Brexit negotiations. She was also very keen to hear about IKO Polymeric’s booming success in export markets, including a 30% increase in 2016 sales.
The Prime Minister arrived at IKO Polymeric’s premises at 3 pm, starting with a meeting with the Managing Director Anthony Carlyle and Divisional Director Dave Embery to discuss the expectations of the business from a strong government. After meeting the office staff, she headed down to the production for a full factory tour.
She showed great interest in IKO Polymeric’s lean manufacturing processes and took the time to ask the machine operators questions about their roles. She was also impressed with the company’s contribution to the local economy; having found out the majority of the workforce was local, living within only a few miles radius.
The company’s apprenticeship schemes, that were designed to encourage young people to build a career in the construction industry, were also a part of the discussions along with the government’s construction targets.
Anthony Carlyle, the Managing Director of IKO Polymeric comments: “It was such an honour to welcome Theresa May to our premises in Clay Cross. We are very proud of the environmentally friendly manufacturing facility we have here, and the contribution we make to the local community. It was a privilege to show her around and talk about the topics which affect our everyday business, as well as the opportunities for us post-Brexit.”
During her visit, Therese May also conducted a TV interview with local and national news outlets, to answer questions about some key issues in the constituency and a few affecting the country, such as the Brexit negotiations, national security, the effects of HS2, and the forthcoming general election.