Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Industry Defies the Odds and Delivers the Goods; This Week's Shocking GDP Figures Showed That Manufacturing Was the Only Major Area of Growth. as the Government Hails This Previously Unloved Sector of the Economy, Lucy Tobin Talks to Three London Factory Bosses about Their Prospects

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Industry Defies the Odds and Delivers the Goods; This Week's Shocking GDP Figures Showed That Manufacturing Was the Only Major Area of Growth. as the Government Hails This Previously Unloved Sector of the Economy, Lucy Tobin Talks to Three London Factory Bosses about Their Prospects

Article excerpt

Byline: Lucy Tobin

Will Tyler, chief executive of Octink, which makes signs and marketing products in Brentford: THE big benefit of manufacturing in London is that we're on hand to deliver products fast. When we tendered for work at Chelsea Flower Show, we told them we could have signs and graphics on site within 90 minutes of an order arriving. That helped us win the bid. We made everything from our factory in Brentford, which employs 98 people.

Buyers like the fact that we control the quality because everything is built under our nose. One of the big housebuilders came to us, having been very concerned about show-home materials they'd bought from the Far East. The fact we manufactured in London was a big winner.

The weak pound has been brilliant for winning work abroad. We've done projects in Cannes, Barcelona and Paris -- we were cheaper than local companies even with the cost of taking products over there. I've been impressed by the Government's help for manufacturers.

UK Trade and Investment is really active about our exports. They've offered us embassies abroad for research and product launches. The London Chamber of Commerce has also been helpful at passing on news about these schemes.

Liz Love, managing director of Clapham-based Z-CARD, which prints pocket-sized marketing material: LONDON is a great place to be an exporter. Everyone talks about the internet, but nothing beats talking to people. London is a great hub for us -- we export two thirds of everything we manufacture. I can reach anyone I need in Europe within a day. I'd love to manufacture in London -- it would be far more logical for our customers -- but wage costs mean it's not affordable. Our factory, which employs 60 people, is near Leeds, while our sales and administration work is in Clapham, with 25 staff.

The Government needs to facilitate business, whereas right now it's making it more difficult. …

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