A recent week started with an interesting business meeting at Barclays. I discussed various issues with them, including apprenticeships. It was great to meet staff and hear about everything going on at this branch.
On Tuesday I toured of the new UTC. It really is an absolutely brilliant facility. There were lots of new students and parents there and it was great to see the place buzzing. I told the Press this was the best £10m. the Government has spent in Burnley since I was elected MP. I must say a huge congratulations to Barnfield Construction who have done a wonderful job. The UTC will be an incredible asset for our town and I hope many students achieve their ambitions in engineering here.
On the Wednesday I visited Bentley Motors Ltd in Crewe in my role as Government Apprenticeship Ambassador. This company manufacture some of the finest cars in the world, currently around 10,000 a year, and it was a privilege to meet some of the staff and apprentices who are receiving first class training which will equip them with the skills for the future. I had a 30-minute test drive of one of their cars. Needless to say, I was extremely careful and watched my speed!
On Thursday I went to Velocity Composites, a new company to Burnley involved in the aerospace industry, working at the leading edge of technology, including 3D printing. Three young men started this business six years ago and have recently moved into a huge new unit.
I met with Lloyds Bank about their social responsibility programmes and work with community groups. They asked if I knew of any organisations that fitted their profile and passed on one or two names. However, if there are voluntary organisations looking for help then I encourage you to contact the manager.
I visited the Reel Cinema, Burnley. It had been many many years since I had been there – they still had projectors and reels of film! Today, the nine screens run digitally and there are no people operating the projectors. The programme is done on a computer and runs for a week automatically.
I was astonished at the technology and it was good to hear the cinema is hoping to spend £200,000 on refurbishment before Christmas. On Friday I visited Fort Vale Engineering again in my role as Government Apprenticeship Ambassador. I met a group of young people whose in the process of training to be highly skilled engineers.
On Friday evening a concert at Burnley Miners’ Club raised more than £600 for my Scanner Appeal. Thanks to Mick and Karen and members for their efforts.