PM David Cameron questioned at Renishaw visit

Posted on 12 May 2014 by Callum Bentley

UK Prime Minister visits Renishaw and praises the company for driving ‘British revival of manufacturing, technology and exports’.

Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed the need to manufacturer more in the UK while visiting Renishaw’s Woodchester manufacturing operation in Gloucestershire, UK, for a tour of the facilities and a question and answer session with employees.

Following a private meeting with senior Renishaw directors, the Prime Minister toured the Woodchester site with Sir David McMurtry, Renishaw’s chairman and chief executive, during which he saw the company’s advanced electronic and mechanical assembly processes, met some of Renishaw’s intake of apprentices and graduates, and received demonstrations of advanced engineering technologies including a metal 3D printing system.

A key part of The Prime Minister’s visit was a 30 minute question and answer session with 300 Renishaw staff, during which he talked about the importance of manufacturing to the UK economy.

Mr Cameron said that while the economy was doing better, the UK needed to manufacture more, invest more, export more, while increasing investment in science and research and development.

“From what I have seen at Renishaw you are doing all those things massively for our country. So thank you for what you are doing,” Mr Cameron said.

He also praised Renishaw staff for the important role they are playing in making Britain a manufacturing, technology and exporting nation.

“We want an economy that is more broadly based that can compete and succeed in the world and that is exactly what Renishaw is all about.” He added, “The more Renishaws that we see, the more businesses like this that we see expanding and growing, the better for our country.”

The Woodchester facility was named the Best Electronics and Electrical Plant in 2012 at the UK’s Best Factory Awards. At 15 000m2, and with 350 employees working in manufacturing roles at the site, Renishaw’s Woodchester assembly plant is the largest of four assembly facilities within the Renishaw Group, and it operates within an environment of high innovation, constant change and a huge range of saleable parts which are produced in low volumes. The facility includes a full electronics production capability including printed circuit board (PCB) layout, assembly and test.

During his tour The Prime Minister met seven Renishaw apprentices and recent graduates, representing the company’s record 111 apprentices currently in training and a record 2013 intake of 55 graduates. Speaking about the Government’s own commitment to apprenticeships during his visit, Mr Cameron said, “We have trained 1.7 million this Parliament and we hope to get to 2 million because of the great work that companies like you (Renishaw) are doing right here.”

Sir David McMurtry said, “In the year that we have been awarded our 17th Queen’s Award, to have a visit from the British Prime Minister gives further recognition to all that our staff globally have achieved through product innovation, high quality manufacturing and strong commercial operations. I sensed a real pride amongst our staff that we were hosting such a senior visitor, and I would like to pay tribute to the hard work that has gone in to making our Woodchester site the world class production facility that it is today and which clearly impressed the Prime Minister.”