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PM 'full of praise for Midlands engineering firm'

04 May 2010

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has praised a Midlands engineering company for putting “British manufacturing on the map” during a visit to its Halesowen headquarters

ksPrime Minister Gordon Brown has praised a Midlands engineering company for putting “British manufacturing on the map” during a visit to its Halesowen headquarters.

He congratulated Thompson, the award-winning manufacturer of friction welding machines, on its export sales achievements and commended its innovation and investment in apprenticeships.

The Prime Minister, who was accompanied by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Halesowen MP Sylvia Heal, was shown one of the company’s latest friction welding machines, which is being built for a Chinese automotive axle manufacturer.

Brown also took questions from Thompson employees on a range of issues as he visited the region ahead of the final leaders’ debate at Birmingham University.

“I want to congratulate you on coming through a difficult economic period, for the great technological skills you are developing, for putting British manufacturing on the map in every continent of the world and for hiring apprentices even in difficult times,” he told staff.

The Labour leader also praised Thompson for achieving a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, which recognised the company’s remarkable export sales record in the last three years.

Alan Shilton, Thompson’s managing director, said he was delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to the factory and provide an insight into how a Black Country business was flying the flag for British industry.

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