DuoChuka Umunna (second left) meets the Duo team
Packaging manufacturer and supplier, Duo UK, played host to Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna, on 28 August when he visited the Manchester-based firm as part of a fact-finding mission.
Chuka Umunna MP spent around two hours at Duo UK as he gained first-hand experience of how British manufacturers are coping in the current economic conditions as well exploring how the rising cost of living is affecting employees. Other issues touched upon included the challenge businesses face in accessing finance and the Labour party’s policy on regional banks.
Duo’s Managing Director, David Brimelow, commented: “We are proud to be a British manufacturer and passionate about raising the profile of this innovative, forward-looking sector, which all too often has been simply ignored or written off. As such, we are always willing to give our time to help open peoples’ eyes to what is really going on in UK manufacturing and therefore try and ensure Government policy actually supports business growth and, in turn, employment.
“During Chuka Umunna’s visit we were able to raise issues that affect many manufacturing businesses in the UK such as the cost of energy, skills shortage and the challenges we face in raising finance to invest further in our business. It was an open and candid conversation and, although it’s fair to say that at Duo we’ve never waited around for Government support, we will certainly be interested to see the direction Labour’s policy takes.”
Commenting, Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna, MP said: “Manufacturing is incredibly important to the health of the UK economy and I was impressed by the very obvious energy and commitment the Duo team has in driving their business forward. I saw an ambitious, family run entrepreneurial company, which is investing in its future, and creating secure, stable employment for the local community. Firms like Duo, are exactly the type of company we need to support to help get Britain get back on its feet.
“It says it all about the Tory-led government’s dire record on getting the banks lending to business that an expanding, successful company like Duo had to look overseas - and to a foreign government - to get the finance it needed. This also underlines the fact that Britain is the world’s only major economy without a state-backed investment institution to help businesses - British business is having to compete with one hand tied behind its back.
“That’s why Labour wants to see the creation of a proper British Investment Bank with a network of regional banks to get finance going to business and spurring local growth. In contrast, the government’s answer to the daily struggle which firms across Britain are facing in getting finance is a renamed desk of civil servants in Whitehall, showing just how out of touch ministers have become with the problems facing businesses.”