Richard Hale, MD of Wolverhampton-headquartered Deritend Industries comments on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement yesterday.
Deritrend is a fast growing maintenance services organisation. The company has engineering workshops nationwide as well as a pre-formed windings production site based in Sheffield.
In an industry regarded as ‘dying out’ in England, Deritend has bucked the trend for industry business and is continuing to turn over a profit annually and is ambitious for growth.
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement proves that the belt tightening approach by the Government ahead of the ‘economic storm’ was a prudent if harsh measure in terms of capping interest rates but there is much more that needs to be done if UK business is to be fit enough to create opportunities to support conditions required for growth and consequently to help boost employment.
It was encouraging to hear the Government seriously talking of support for heavy industries and the manufacturing, technology and science sectors both in terms of investment and measures to encourage careers for future development of our skills base. Training and skills development is a crucial area where we have invested witnessed by numerous apprenticeships across our UK operations.
However, the fact that economic growth forecasts have been revised to less than one per cent is a bleak and sobering prospect, but indicates the severity of the state of our economy.
From our perspective and as a major employer and support service to the British manufacturing, engineering and utilities sector, we are encouraged by a number of moves including easing of employment costs for smaller businesses through to investment in the construction sector, infrastructure spend and other capital schemes which will get a an injection of substantial sums of money.
I’m also glad to see that funding will be underwritten for SME businesses, which is important at a time when commercial finance industry has never been tighter.
Our strategy of growth in core sectors such as the water, power and utilities and selected heavy industries, in addition to other profitable manufacturing customers is paying off for us as a business and we welcome the moves to support traditional engineering, steel-making and other heavy industries, in addition to waste and infrastructure projects.
Key measures from the Autumn Statement to be welcomed by industry include:
- 500 infrastructure projects including waste facilities and power stations
- £5bn additional spending over next three years
- Capital allowances to attract manufacturing in cities and metropolitan areas including Black Country and Liverpool, plus North East and Humber
- Regional Growth regeneration fund to get £1bn in extra funding
- £250m support package for energy-intensive firms
- £1 bn to England regional growth fund
- Investment in road and rail
- Commitment to British science – support to SMEs and mid cap businesses
- Help for Govt procurement
- Above the line R&D tax credit