Michael has hailed local business Winch Energy a ‘great local exporter’ following its success at prestigious award event.
Winch Energy, a global, off-grid renewable energy developer based in Sevenoaks, has been awarded ‘Export Champion’ by Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. It is among 29 other outstanding British businesses that have been selected for distinguished programmes.
The locally-based company, founded by CEO Nicholas Wrigley, provides electricity, electric water pumping and satellite connectivity to off-grid populations in Africa. It was founded in 2016.
Michael congratulates Mr Wrigley and Winch Energy employees on their impressive award. He said: ‘This is yet another example of business booming in Sevenoaks. Our local trades punch above their weight not only here in the UK, but also across the world. I am committed to ensuring that this business and great local exporters like it can seize upon the opportunities presented by Brexit and expand their global successes.’
Conservative candidate Sir Michael Fallon recently visited the new Sevenoaks Primary School construction site. He was given a tour of the new building by the school’s headmaster, Alan Duffy.
The school needs to raise £500,000 to complete the development; £450,000 has been raised so far. The Hands Trust, run by Guy and Julia Hands, has been match funding every pound raised. Local businesses have also been very supportive. The new building is due to be completed by the end of the year.
Alan Duffy has raised around £45,000 from his famous walks. Michael congratulated Alan on his efforts and on the progress that has been made on the new build.
Michael said: ‘This is a perfect example of the parents and the local community coming together. Local businesses have backed this new building, as have I. Future students will benefit from these renewed facilities for many years to come.’
Michael recently visited Old St Andrews, a small firm that packages Scotch Whiskies, gins, and vodka.
He was met by the Managing Director, Bob Gorton, and other members of the office and warehouse team. He was given a private tour and learnt more about the business.
Old St Andrews is a small company located in Kemsing but it has clients all over the world, which Bob marks with little red dots on a world map in his office. It exports vodka to Poland, gin to Europe, Scotch Whisky to Turkey, and Kosher whisky to Israel. Around 80 per cent of its business is in exports, and it is ranked as one of the best businesses on Amazon.
Michael said: ‘I was surprised at how varied the firm’s product range is. There is a real story here. This small business works from tiny premises in a local business Park, but it is an impressive globally-recognised brand. I spoke with Bob about the firm’s future in uncertain times and how he will still be able to employ the overseas skills he needs. I am committed to ensuring that businesses like Old St Andrews are able to flourish, trading inside and outside the European Union.’
Michael has today praised local businesses ahead of the sixth annual Sevenoaks Business Show.
The local MP, who is also Patron of Sevenoaks Town Partnership, opened the fifth annual Sevenoaks Business Show last year, and will be meeting with a number of local businesses on his constituency visit this Friday.
Michael’s visit comes one week after new unemployment figures showed that Sevenoaks is among the constituencies with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The total number of unemployed claimants in Sevenoaks in March 2017 was 395, representing a decrease of 19 per cent since 2015 and of 67 per cent since 2010.
Michael said: ‘It’s a great time to be in business in Sevenoaks. Unemployment remains at an historic low, more people are finding full time jobs, wages have grown yet again, and there are over 700 more businesses in Sevenoaks than there were in 2010.’