Last Friday I was delighted to visit GAP (General All Purpose Plastics) a large manufacturing firm based at Shadsworth, in my Blackburn Constituency. The company specialises in doors and windows and has expanded significantly in recent years, now employing almost 600 people and also manufacturing in Aberdare, South Wales, and serving over 40 depots around the UK. During my meeting with Chief Executive, Simon Brayshaw and Head of HR, Natalie Goodall, I was given a brief on the history of the company, plans for the future and issues that they are currently facing. I had no doubt as to Mr Brayshaw’s concern about the wider impact upon the UK economy, of the Brexit vote on June 23rd – how business growth in general is likely to be slower or even negative – and how this will inevitably result in people having less in their pockets and spending less. Regardless of the UK’s withdrawal from Europe it will be essential for GAP and other firms to continue trading with European nations as vital raw materials can only be obtained from those countries.
That said I was pleased to hear that the solid financial base that Mr Brayshaw and his team have established at GAP, will give the firm the best possible prospect of weathering any potential economic turbulence. GAP’s recent purchase of additional land for the construction of extra manufacturing space highlights their long term commitment to Blackburn and I know that they are building up a good relationship with the Local Council. The firm is keen to develop its training of apprentices and its relationship with the local community and I have offered my help towards achieving these aims. I look forward to working further with GAP in the coming months and years.