THE BBC turned its spotlight on Cumbria on Thursday as business presenter Steph McGovern broadcast live from Wax Lyrical’s Lindal factory.
The BBC has been travelling the country talking to businesses in the run up to the election and visited the factory as it focuses on manufacturing in the run up to the general election.
The five minute segment involved a short tour of the factory floor as well as interviews with the firm’s owner, Mike Armstead and some of the company’s employees including the firm’s longest serving member of staff, Tracy Burr and lab technician Steve Husband.
Speaking to Mr Armstead, the television presenter asked about the company’s struggles in the recession, job losses and it’s recent growth.
Mr Armstead said: “It’s taken a lot, we survived a very deep recession, and a tough turnaround because of that and the banking crisis, but now we’re in growth and we’re very stable and we’ll continue to invest in new equipment, the quality of jobs will improve and we’ll continue to innovate.”
Miss McGovern also raised a topical question about local recruitment and skills shortages in Cumbria asking “What about being in a rural area and getting the skills you need?”
To which, the owner responded “We grow our own it’s great … we bring them in, grow them and train them and they’re very loyal to us.”
The discussion moved on to the company’s successful export business where the owner revealed that the company’s success had come from outside of the EU.
He said: “We export to about 40 odd countries and doing very well, we don’t really export to Europe which has been tough, but Russia, the Far East and the Middle East have been brilliant for us.”
Speaking about the filming, managing director Joanne Barber, said, “As the UK’s largest home fragrance manufacturer we were pleased to be selected by the BBC for the Breakfast programme. Our factory, which has recently received a one million pound investment, was an ideal backdrop for a feel good piece about manufacturing.
“Because the BBC were broadcasting live with us throughout the morning we were pleased that a number of staff members had the opportunity to be interviewed as well as Mike and I.
“The coverage has already created a lot of interest. During the filming we presented Steph with a Stephometer candle and we have received a number of enquiries from the public who wish to buy one!”
Among the guests was James Reed, chairman of Reed recruitment, who gave his perspective on employment.
Wax Lyrical also made Steph a special candle to mark the occasion which was featured on the programme.
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