Press release -

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Business Secretary Visits North West

The importance of manufacturing, skills and R&D in driving growth in the economy is the focus of Vince Cable’s first visit to the North West today as Business Secretary.

His first stop will be the Bentley manufacturing plant in Crewe, one of the biggest employers in the region.

He will see the new state of the art ‘Body in White’ facility where the body shell of the newly launched Bentley Mulsanne will be manufactured. The Mulsanne has also been completely designed and engineered in Crewe highlighting the investment made by the company in R&D in the UK.

At the plant the Business Secretary will talk to some apprentices who are on a three to four year training programme learning a range of skills from engineering and wood and leather craftsmanship to sales and marketing.

Vince Cable said: “My department will be the department for growth. We need to develop a stronger, more balanced economy that is less dependent on the City by building on the strengths of our manufacturing and other knowledge industries.

“The UK is open for business and we welcome the investment that is being made here by manufacturing companies, like Bentley, creating highly skilled workforces that will ensure our future growth.”

Dr Cable will also be attending the first meeting of the Northwest Manufacturing Forum with representatives from 20 organisations to promote the diverse strength of the sector across the region.

He said: “As the 6th largest manufacturer in the world, the UK, and the northwest as the biggest manufacturing region, is well placed to ensure a better balanced economy.”

It comes on the same day as Universities and Science Minister David Willetts makes his first ministerial visit to a number of projects and an apprenticeship scheme in Birmingham and the West Midlands. He will see Science City and the chemical engineering lab at the University of Birmingham, where he will also deliver his first keynote speech.

Notes to editors

  • Bentley is the third largest research & development investor in the UK automotive sector. The company invested £104.9m in 2008. It currently employs about 50 apprentices.
  • A copy of David Willetts’ keynote speech will be available here:
  • Contacts

    NDS Enquiries
    Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department


    • Government


    • vince cable
    • mulsanne