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West Sussex County Times Article
You often hear it said that Britain no longer has a manufacturing sector. But this is simply not true - and it's time that we stopped talking manufacturing down.
In fact, Britain's manufacturing sector is the sixth largest in the world and is, after Germany's, the largest in Europe. It contributes £140 billion a year to our economy.
But Britain's manufacturing sector has changed since the 1980s. We no longer mass-produce goods in the way we used to but we specialise in skillfully engineered products, like jet engines and medical instruments.
I was reminded of this recently when I visited a highly successful manufacturing business in my constituency.
Turbosound - based in Partridge Green - has been making loudspeakers for over thirty years. They provide high end sound systems for a variety of uses from bars and nightclubs right up to concerts and music festivals.
In the last ten years, they have won the Queen's Award for Export Achievement twice. While I was visiting they asked me to nominate them for the 'Made By Britain' project.
This aims to boost awareness of British manufacturing by asking MPs to nominate a top-quality product made in their constituency.
The scheme demonstrates the diversity and comprehensive nature of contemporary British industry.
The Government has already taken action to help these businesses by cutting the main rate of corporation tax to 26 per cent - currently the lowest in the G8 - and the small profits rate to 20 per cent. We are also looking at the sometimes stifling burden of regulation that can make it hard to establish and sustain a business.
'Make it in Great Britain', a campaign aiming to transform outdated opinions of modern manufacturing and dispel the myth that Britain ‘doesn't make anything anymore', was launched by the Government last November.
The Olympic and Paralympic Games give Britain a great shop window to advertise our manufacturing sector and there will be a ‘Make it in Great Britain' exhibition of cutting-edge British products at the Science Museum over the summer.
Rebooting industry will be vital for a balanced economy where exports and investment drive growth, not debt and unsustainable Government spending. I am particularly pleased to see that even in the rural South Downs we have successful businesses which are contributing to that aim.
1 March 2012
"I pledge to work hard for everyone in the constituency, to stand up for local people, and to be a strong voice at Westminster for your concerns"