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Monday, 22 September 2014

Cumbrian companies chosen to spearhead export programme

Two of Cumbria’s largest employers – Pirelli and Tata Steel – have been named among the best exporters at a regional conference discussing how best to increase overseas business.

The conference heard how Clive Drinkwater, regional director for UKTI North West, welcomed the extra funding for support services announced in the Chancellor’s recent autumn statement and looked forward to a boost in overseas trade for the region next year.

He was addressing the first group of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Export Champions for the north west.

The export champions programme is unique to the region and involves recruiting successful international firms to help and advise new companies on their export journey.

Around 30 export champions have been recruited in the north west in a drive to create 1,000 new exporters for the region. It includes large and small companies from a range of sectors, covering all parts of the north west.

In Cumbria, the export champions include Pirelli Tyres UK Ltd, one of the leading manufacturers which employs 850 people at its Dalston Road site; Tata Steel’s Projects which employs more than 350 people in Workington, and exports about £2 million of business each year, and Wax Lyrical, the UK’s largest home fragrance company, in Lindal-in-Furness.

Also included are Hi Def Aerial Surveying Ltd based at Cleator Moor in Cumbria, which provides video surveys for the offshore wind sector and has attracted great interest in Europe and the USA.

Mr Drinkwater told the conference that exports in the north west were up £6.3bn last quarter – £1bn higher than the previous quarter.

“We are still experiencing growth in key markets,” he said. “Exports to China are up by 12 per cent compared to last year, India up four per cent and Brazil up two per cent. Exports to the USA from the north west are nearly £1.4bn, making this our best quarter in America since 2010.”

“The extra funding for UKTI announced in the Chancellor’s statement – an increase of £140m over two years – reflects how important international trade is to the Government.”

He said the export champions were an integral part of their strategy who would inspire and motivate those new to international trade.

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