Prime Minister, David Cameron, recently took time out from his busy schedule to pay a visit to HL Plastics’ headquarters in Derbyshire, home of the Liniar brand.
Cameron spent the afternoon meeting workers at the state of the art factory and taking part in PM Direct, a question and answer session with 150 of the growing workforce.
No questions were off-limits for the 40 minute session, which followed a private meeting with Roger Hartshorn and his team and a full tour of the factory, warehouse and mixing plant. Also present were local MP, Nigel Mills and Councillor, Stuart Bradford, from the Amber Valley district where HL is based.
During the factory tour, Hartshorn explained the PVC-U extrusion process, from tool room to dispatch, with the PM keen to find out more about the high thermally efficient properties of the Liniar window profile and how it was made.
Then it was over to the newly-opened PVC-U mixing plant, where Cameron was surrounded by staff from all areas of the business, together with journalists and news crews from the national and local media. The PM Direct session was broadcast live on Sky News, with teams from Channel 5 and ITN also present.
Cameron engaged the audience from the start, apologising for the secrecy surrounding his visit and saying he hoped they weren’t disappointed with the fact he wasn’t Michael Buble!
Questions covered a number of diverse topics, including pensions and the increasing retirement age, European Union, the Scottish referendum, adult day care and social services and the sentencing of prisoners.
Employees at the factory were thanked by the Prime Minister for contributing to the local economy and flying the flag for manufacturing businesses all over the UK.
After the visit, Roger Hartshorn commented: “It’s great that the Prime Minister was able to take the time to visit our factory, and see for himself how a manufacturing business can combine innovation, commitment and great products in order to stimulate growth in the economy.
,”One of the PM’s comments was about apprenticeships, and helping young people to learn a trade – and that’s something that’s close to our heart at HL Plastics, with six apprentices currently employed and many of the management team having risen through the ranks of the business – including myself!
,”The windows industry is an exciting one to be involved with, and we encourage the fresh perspective that youth can bring – so it’s good to know this is still high on the government’s agenda.
,”It’s also very flattering that Liniar has received recognition at this level, and I hope the success we have achieved and the lessons we have learned can help other UK manufacturing businesses grow in a similar manner.”
After television interviews and a flurry of photographs, the PM was on his way to his next appointment – leaving the HL team impressed with the openness of his approach to answering all the questions they’d thrown at him.