It’s Day 2 of the General Election campaign, and Labour has been emphasising our pro-business credentials. We need healthy businesses and wealth creation to support a decent society with a full range of well-funded public services.
Huddersfield has a rich heritage of successful entrepreneurs and thriving businesses. It was the cradle of the industrial revolution, producing manufacturers and technologies that changed the world.
This happened because of a potent combination of cheap energy produced by water flowing down from the Pennines to turn the mills, the high skills of the local population, and a series of brilliant and innovative entrepreneurs. We need more entrepreneurs today to build on that legacy.
Huddersfield is still a major manufacturing town – in fact it is no exaggeration to say that we are a world leader in textiles. If you buy a suit from the finest tailors in Milan, there is a very strong chance it would be made from high quality cloth from one of Huddersfield’s great textiles manufacturers, such as C & J Antich.
We also have the Textile Centre of Excellence, a global centre of textile expertise, harbouring revolutionary new technologies such as a 3D weaving machine and anti-counterfeiting technologies.
For Huddersfield to thrive in the future we need to recreate the conditions that led to our success. Our fantastic University is already a major asset, producing highly skilled graduates and wonderful entrepreneurs. Did you know that the CEO of Burberry and Sir George Buckley the former CEO of 3M, one of the US’s biggest industrial companies, are Huddersfield graduates?
On the local level, I will continue to work hard with the University, to support local businesses, and to draw investment into Huddersfield. Last year I led a delegation of Chinese billionaires around Huddersfield, showing them some of our finest businesses and innovations. Discussions are still ongoing with several local businesses, and it is this kind of global thinking that will deliver for Huddersfield in the future.
On the national level, Labour has set out a strong pro-business plan. We recognise that sound public finances, access to export markets, and a highly skilled, highly paid workforce are the key to successful businesses and a growing economy.
That is why we have pledged to cut the deficit year on year at a sustainable rate, why we will invest more in our young people’s education and future, and why we will return Britain to a leading role within the EU, so that we can set the agenda and ensure we take care of Britain’s interests. We will invest more infrastructure nationally and locally, making sure that growth is spread throughout the UK, not just in London and the South-East.