Telford Journal Column

Last week I spoke in a Parliamentary debate on the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’. I reminded other MPs of Telford’s proud history as the birthplace of industry, of its record of innovation and emphasised the dynamic way in which Telford is embracing new technology and smart manufacturing.


My speech also touched on ‘Enterprise Telford’: an innovative initiative to deliver jobs and growth by improving the infrastructure and attracting inward investment, to encourage businesses to relocate to Telford.


Telford’s T54 and Hortonwood are an industrial corridor of advanced technology and improving manufacturing processes, which is complemented by cutting edge research at Wolverhampton University’s Innovation Campus in Telford.


‘Enterprise Telford’ will give our town a bright future. It is bringing high skilled jobs with record levels of employment. The scheme includes improvements to road infrastructure and upgrades to power supply, to make the site attractive to advanced manufacturing companies. With our workforce and motorway connections, ‘Enterprise Telford’ helps set Telford apart from competing areas.


Telford is fortunate to already have businesses that are set to take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution. Three examples are: Smartwater, the manufacturer of forensic traceable liquids; Filtermist, the manufacturer of extraction & coolant control equipment; and Magna Cosma, the innovative car parts manufacturer whose new plant will supply Jaguar Land Rover and create 300 new jobs.


These three companies and many more are creating our future: by developing new ideas, by creating new ways of working and by exploiting new technology. The fourth industrial revolution is taking place in Telford.


Funding is required: the Marches LEP is in the process of submitting a £16 million bid from the Government’s £1,800 million DCLG Growth Deal Fund. Securing funding for ‘Enterprise Telford’ would be a huge boost to the town: I wholly support this bid. In my speech, I reminded the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government (DCLG), Sajid Javid, that he had said in June that he would “work with me in every way to secure Telford’s bright future”.


Telford is a symbol of innovation; from the first industrial revolution to the fourth. Telford succeeds through adapting and evolving to meet the challenges it faces. The business community is playing its part in building innovative enterprises and I will play mine by lobbying the Secretary of State to ensure we get this funding and help forge a fantastic future for Telford.