ASHBOURNE’S MP, secretary of state for transport Patrick McLoughlin has spent a morning with one of the area’s fastest-growing manufacturing firms to learn more about its success in exporting products made in the town to customers across the world.
Master Mover, in the Airfield Industrial Estate, has grown its export business, selling pedestrian electric tugs, from less than five per cent to more than 50 per cent and Mr McLoughlin was keen to see how the firm achieved its success.
The company, which has an ethos of employing local staff sells its products to firms including JCB, Tesco, Airbus and The Co-operative Group, and its thriving export business has seen it sending machines designed and built in Ashbourne to countries including Brazil, Russia and Australia.
During his visit on Wednesday last week Mr McLoughlin told the News Telegraph that Master Mover’s success represented an example of what the Government wants firms to achieve country wide.
He said: “For a company to grow its export from five per cent to 50 per cent is good news for Ashbourne but it’s good news for the United Kingdom because what it also shows is that small companies can export.
“The domestic market is only so big and if we can get companies like Master Mover who have got a unique product that can be sold worldwide then it’s great that they’re taking that initiative. And if they can go from exporting five per cent of their business to 50 per cent of their business and therefore growing the amount of people that are working for them as well then it ticks every single box you could want to tick.
“One of the things the prime minister is very keen on is re-balancing the economy. One of the things we should be looking at in the Midlands is our engineering excellence.
“In Derbyshire you’ve got Rolls Royce, Toyota, Bombardier, JCB down the road, major companies. And with that comes a wealth of engineering knowledge and we’ve got young people who look to engineering to go into, so we need to see that. It’s all about selling goods like this. Goods that are made, manufactured and then exported.”
Managing director Andy Owen said: “We sold to 29 export countries last year and that can continue. We’re developing new exporting connections all the time, there’s new territories coming on board, new distribution interested in selling products like Master Mover.
“We need to keep doing more of the same, adding in extra innovation, using new technologies, developing and introducing new and innovative products.
“A rolling stone gathers no moss.”