Creativity and innovation on show during tour of local businesses

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Creativity and innovation were on show when the leader of Tameside Council went on a tour of some of the borough's leading businesses.

Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington was invited on the business visits showcasing cutting edge technology by the Tameside Prosperous Board (PB).

PB supports the creation, development and growth of business in the borough. Bringing together the Council, business community and education sector, the group delivers infrastructure projects, encourages enterprise and provides jobs across Tameside.

Executive Leader Cllr Warrington, Director of Growth Jayne Traverse, and Head of Employment and Skills David Berry were invited to visit these four local businesses by Phil Brown, the outgoing chair of the PB board. The organisations were identified because they represent the innovative and proactive spirit of the best businesses in the borough.

These visits were an excellent opportunity for Cllr Warrington to find out issues affecting businesses in Tameside, and to get the opinions of business leaders on the strategic developments taking place across the borough and Greater Manchester. With the recent launch of Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy these Tameside businesses showed how the borough's companies and employees are at the cutting edge of skills and innovation in manufacturing.

Francis Kirk and Son Ltd, a manufacturer and supplier of industrial fasteners, tools and other products was the first company the group visited. Based in Denton for 150 years, the company has continuously expanded its product range and export activities.

A supplier to the Council's Building Schools for the Future scheme, the second firm visited was Whitecroft Lighting. It's one of the UK's largest suppliers of commercial lighting for a range of industries and the company also provided lighting for the Tameside One Library.

Additionally, the group toured Matthews Environmental Solutions Limited which engineers waste incinerators and also products for crematoriums. The company has recently been supported by Tameside Council to find additional industrial space and local staff during an expansion.

The final organisation visited was Lankem, a Dukinfield chemical engineering and manufacturing company which employs 30 people and has been supportive of the Council's Employment and Skills team. It was recognised as the Medium Business of the Year at the Pride of Tameside Business Awards 2018 and is one of the firms promoted through the #MadeInTameside social media campaign.

Cllr Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council, said: "This tour provided a valuable insight to the innovation and creativity taking place at businesses across the borough.  It gives me great pride to see these cutting edge operations which have in some cases been founded and grown right here in Tameside. We'll be working with our local partners to ensure Tameside supports both businesses and our residents."

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