With recesses for Summer and party conference season, August and September are months with a disrupted schedule for Parliament. Nevertheless, we saw parliamentarians take advantage of the time away from Westminster by continuing their IPT Fellowships, making a total of 11 visits across industry sectors, from finance to food and drink.
Business in Scotland: Airwaves and Whisky
Patrick Grady, MP for Glasgow North visited two businesses close to his constituency during August: STV, a national broadcaster in Scotland; and Chivas Brothers who produce several brands of Scotch Whisky.
During his visit to STV, Patrick was able to broaden his understanding of the broadcast industry and gain insight into the potential for growth of Scottish creative industries. He met with people from departments across the business, including their broadcasting, production and digital divisions.
At Chivas Brothers, Patrick was able to see how their bottling facility and Strathclyde grain distillery operate. He was also able to hear about some of the issues and opportunities facing the business.
Transforming with technology
Companies throughout the UK are investing in technology to make transformative advancements within their sector, and many parliamentarians are keen to stay abreast of the latest innovations so they can effectively engage with the changing business environment. Some exciting examples were seen first-hand by Chris Matheson, MP for City of Chester and Anna Turley, MP for Redcar, who visited Thales and Drax respectively.
Thales is a global organisation spanning the transport, aerospace, defence, security and space sectors. Visiting their Crawley site, Chris, Chair of the Aerospace All-Party Parliamentary Group, was able to learn how Thales are designing and manufacturing innovative unique full-flight simulators and various types of complex aerospace and connectivity technologies that will have benefits for both civil and military aviation.
Drax power station, located near Selby, is one of the first UK companies exploring carbon capture and storage technology to make their energy production cleaner and more sustainable. Anna, who sits on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, benefited from the opportunity to see this innovation first-hand, enabling her to bring increased knowledge back to Parliament to help the UK reduce their carbon emissions.
Alex Sobel, MP for Leeds North West visited local telecommunications company AQL
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore visited Yorkshire Building Society in Cardiff
Royston Smith. MP for Southampton Itchen met with the Federation of Master Builders
Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham and Heston met with the Building Society Association
Anna Turley, MP for Redcar also visited also 3M’s manufacturing facility in Aycliffe
Chris Matheson, MP for City of Chester also visited NATS in Swanwick
Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton Central visited Boeing in Crawley