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Seven days after the general election result, George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle shared his government’s prospects for business with members of the Cornwall Manufacturers Group (CMG).

Guest speaker at their AGM, Eustice touched on key concerns for the manufacturing group including trade deals, productivity, investment, education and the industrial strategy.

Speaking frankly on the election result, Eustice commented: “It wasn’t what we expected but we’re reading, hearing and dealing with the result.”

Touching on Brexit, Eustice said: “A comprehensive customer agreement for free trade is essential for manufacturing. We’re working on an ambitious deal but it will allow free trade to continue.”

With representatives from leading manufacturing companies across the county in the room, many questions were aimed at Eustice touching on investment, apprenticeships, STEM and the future of the industrial strategy. Members were delighted when Eustice raised the UK Prosperity fund as a replacement for EU Structural funds, confirming that organisations would be means tested regionally, allowing a greater proportion of the funding to be allocated to worse off regions.

Eustice said: “We’re encouraging businesses to access the funds. The goal of the UK prosperity fund is to secure a greater balance between productivity and job creation and underwrite longevity.

“Technical education is also an inspiring focus for the industrial strategy and can only strengthen the UK’s manufacturing and engineering global status.”

Eric Nicholls, chair of the CMG concluded: “The event was a great success and we’re thankful to George for listening to our concerns. As the ninth largest industrial nation in the world, we don’t need barriers to trade or business. We need partnership, flexibility within investment grants to not be so sector focused and a true understanding of how commercial businesses work. We’re hopeful that the future of the industrial strategy recognises these key concerns.”