Minister visits award-winning machine firm

GRAND TOUR Matthew Hancock meets staff at 600 UK.
GRAND TOUR Matthew Hancock meets staff at 600 UK.

A Kirklees manufacturer was visited by the government’s Business Minister weeks after winning a regional award.

MP Matthew Hancock, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Energy, was given a tour of machine tools and precision engineered components firm 600 UK.

Mike Berry, 600 UK managing director, said: “It was a real pleasure to meet the minister and explain to him the significant changes already completed together with our ongoing new developments.

“These have resulted from a real team effort and total involvement by all employees making our factory vision a reality.”

The firm, which employs 85 staff and manufacturers the world-renowned Colchester and Harrison branded lathes, was presented with the Business Efficiency Award in the EEF/Aldermore Future Manufacturing Awards last month. The award celebrates the achievements of manufacturers who have successfully designed and delivered new operating practices to boost productivity and business performance.

The firm was selected by a panel of judges drawn from business leaders, industry experts and academics. It was up against stiff competition from a range of businesses across Yorkshire and the North East.

600 UK will compete for the national title in April at an awards dinner in London.

Mr Berry added: “The minister was also impressed with our commitment to industry, particularly within the education sector, and was shown our benchmark Colchester and Harrison training lathes being manufactured in preparation for delivery to both UK and overseas training establishments.”

Mr Hancock, a former economist and small businessman, said: “It was fantastic to visit 600 UK and see the first rate work they are doing with support from our Regional Growth Fund.

“This shows our long-term economic plan is working. By creating jobs and spreading prosperity across Yorkshire, 600 UK are building the machines that are building a better Britain.”

The visit was part of Mr Hancock’s Great Business Tour, where he is visiting 100 businesses in as many days.

600 UK focus on laser marking, machine tools and precision engineered components – machine spares are distributed to customers globally to help maintain more than 100,000 group machines.