Leading Uckfield area businessmen met Wealden MP Charles Hendry and painted a bright picture of healthy balance sheets and growth.
He heard how continued investment across a number of key areas, including research, development and technological innovation, customer service, staff training and apprenticeship schemes had all contributed to to high levels of activity.
The meeting was organised and hosted by TR Fastenings based at the Bellbrook Business Park, Uckfield.
Mr Hendry was keen to understand the needs of the local businesses in his area.
He said: “It’s important to me that I understand the issues that local companies are facing. Improving opportunities is crucial for the economy and employment. TR Fastenings is the leading international company in this area. It was the ideal host for such a discussion.”
The event was triggered by the imminent closure of the Wealden Skills Centre, Uckfield, in August, which provided practical training for young people. The closure was announced in February following the Government’s decision to cut grants to such vocational courses.
The announcement led to an outcry of protest by many leading local business leaders, including Peter Chotai who owns Selby’s Pharmacy. He started a petition against its closure.
In addition to broadband at the Isfield exchange and the closure of the skills centre, another key issue raised was the implementation of the building controls policy over Ashdown Forest which is impacting property development in the district.
TR managing director Geoff Budd said: “I am delighted that this is Charles Hendry’s third visit to TR. It is important that he sees what we are achieving locally but also internationally too. We’ve taken on our fifth apprentice this year and it was useful to discuss the scheme’s success with him.
“We were able to bring to his attention the serious concerns that we all have and by putting our heads together we had a stronger voice. I felt the event was a great success.” T
The event was attended by: Charles Hendry MP; Geoff Budd, MD of TR Fastenings; Jim Barker, Chief Executive of Trifast plc; Peter Chotai, owner of Selby’s Pharmacy; Steven Neilly, Director of Clearwater Developments; Graham Pitts, Commercial Manager of Parker Building Supplies and Graeme Goudie of Isfield Parish Council.
Mr Hendry is pictured (front left) with Peter Chotai (front, right) and (back, from left) Jim Barker, Geoff Budd, Steven Neilly and Graham Pitts.