Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, made a whistle-stop tour of Lincolnshire today (Thursday) visiting a number of local businesses with export success stories while backing some of his fellow Tory party candidates in the upcoming county council elections in May.
Having only recently visited North Hykeham in the county late last year to support Dr Caroline Johnson in her successful campaign to become Sleaford and North Hykeham’s MP, he also revealed that he has an uncle living in the Sleaford area.
A keen Brexiteer, he first arrived in Grantham where he met Folkingham rural county councillor and Leader of the County Council Martin Hill where he discussed the situation regarding the future of Grantham Hospital, exporting, potholes and proposals for a unitary authority system in Sleaford.
Dr Fox’s first visit was to the Sutterton factory of Jakemans Confectioners of Boston, accompanied by Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman and county councillors.
The business has been in the town since 1907 and specialises in using natural ingredients to create quality menthol confections - including their famous throat and chest relievers, and have recently started to successfully export to the highly competitive US market.
Dr Fox then visited Househam Sprayers in Woodhall Spa, whose head office is in Leadenham. The business is the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of top quality self-propelled and trailed agricultural crop sprayers and amenity sprayers. It exports to Europe, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
There he was joined by Louth and Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins and Deputy Leader of the county council and member for Billinghay and Metheringham Patricia Bradwell.
Dr Fox said both businesses were great examples of exporters. He said of Jakemans: “They are a company which has made its market assessments very well, it has invested at the right time, taken the right sort of risks, with good management and they are really reaping the rewards.”
He said Househams were already exporting on a global scale and were now faced with how they can use UK govrnment finance to help develop that export side even further.
He said: “We wanted to see these different businesses to make the case that if they can be in the export market then others can too. Only 11 per cent of UK companies that could export do so and we want to get that number way up.”
He then visited Sleaford where he met up again with Caroline Johnson where he talked about his visit and a number of relevant points to Lincolnshire residents with the Sleaford Standard’s Andy Hubbert.