Ahead of Black Country Day on Thursday 14 July, the Black Country LEP joined forces with Ian Austin MP for Dudley North, to host a showcase of goods manufactured in the Black Country to MPs on Tuesday 12 July at the House of Commons.
With 442,000 people working in the Black Country and home to the highest proportion of high and low tech manufacturing jobs in the country, the special exhibition showcased 20 Black Country based companies delivering goods and services across the following sectors: housing; automotive; sport; engineering; education; aerospace; foundry and creative industries.
210 people, including 41 MPs, visited the showcase meeting representatives from Black Country companies including Wolverhampton-based aerospace experts HS Marston, Wednesbury aluminium firm Alucast, Stourbridge Glass, CUBE Precision Engineering from Rowley Regis and the Accord Housing Group from West Bromwich.
Ian Austin MP for Dudley North said: "I grew up in Dudley, I love the Black Country and I’m proud of it. Manufacturing is a really important part of the Black Country’s heritage but I want to show that hi-tech manufacturing, science and technology has a bright future in the region too. I want people in London to understand that we are bringing new industries and new jobs to the area to strengthen the local economy and boost prosperity.”
"That’s why I’m delighted to be able to organise this event in Parliament, where our brilliant local producers and manufacturers can show off their work to MPs from across the country.”
Sarah Middleton, Chief Executive Black Country Consortium said: "It has been a fantastic day for the Black Country with so many visitors making time to see for themselves just some of the companies based in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. We are delighted to be able to celebrate our diverse and successful businesses in Parliament ahead of Black Country Day.”
The event kick starts the Black Country LEPs campaign to support Black Country Day on 14 July. To celebrate the diversity and strength of business in the Black Country, the Black Country LEP, alongside the 4 Black Country local authorities; Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton are encouraging local business to tweet about their product(s), workplace or staff members to celebrate all that is great about the Black Country including the hashtag #MadeInTheBlackCountry
Stewart Towe, Chair Black Country LEP said: "What a great week to shout about the strength of business and manufacturing in the Black Country. The Black Country is home to 33,400 businesses and we want them to join us on 14 July in tweeting about their successes so we can collectively ensure people are aware of the many fantastic products made in the Black Country and sold around the world.”
Black Country Day on 14 July marks the region’s industrial heritage and marks the anniversary of the invention of the World’s first steam engine, the Newcomen Engine, built in the Black Country in 1712.
Today, the Black Country is still home to a world class manufacturing and engineering base, one of the UKs leading supply chain centres with excellent collaborative research and development opportunities and home to the UKs most successful Enterprise Zone.
Picture caption: Ian Austin MP with Black Country LEP Chair, Stewart Towe, at the Black Country showcase at the House of Commons. Picture by Jas Sansi.