News story

New jobs at Lancashire biscuit manufacturer welcomed by Chancellor

Chancellor visits Lancashire-based biscuit manufacturer Farmhouse Biscuits to welcome news that it expects to create up to 20 new jobs in 2015.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Farmhouse Biscuits has seen its business grow considerably in the last 5 years. It has enjoyed particular success overseas, where it exports over 20 per cent of its produce to key markets including Australia, the United States and Canada, and is now ready to expand by taking on new staff.

The visit formed part of the Chancellor and Prime Minister’s two day tour of the north-west which is aimed at setting out their six-point long-term economic plan for the region, showing what has been delivered, what is underway and what more can be done to build a northern powerhouse.

A key part of the Chancellor and Prime Minister’s long term economic plan for the north-west is to support businesses to grow and create jobs, as well as to sell more to overseas markets, so during today’s visit the Chancellor took the opportunity to congratulate Farmhouse Biscuits on the success it had achieved in all these areas.

This success was underscored by a speech by the Prime Minister and Chancellor earlier in the day which contained analysis showing that the north-west has seen the joint fastest growth in output per head in the UK in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. There are more people in work in the region than at any time on record, with an average of 200 more people in employment per day over the past year.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor’s six-point long-term economic plan for the north-west is as follows:

  1. to increase the long term growth rate of the north-west to at least the forecast growth rate of the whole UK, by building a northern powerhouse, which could generate an £18 billion real terms increase in the size of the north-west economy by 2030. In real terms this is equivalent to over £2,000 per person in the north-west, or a 50% increase, compared to if the north-west continued to grow at its long run average
  2. to raise the employment rate in the north-west to that of the UK average. That will ensure over 100,000 more people in employment in the north-west during the next Parliament by supporting the private sector, backing business investment and new start-ups in our drive for full employment in the north
  3. to deliver the largest ever and most sustained investment in the long-term transport infrastructure of the north-west. With £4.5bn committed to electrification of existing rail lines, new trains, new urban transport, and a major upgrade to the roads across the whole region. This is on top of the committed £42.6bn investment in new high speed connections from the north of England to the South and the potential for investment in high speed connections East to West across the north of England
  4. to make the north-west a global centre of outstanding scientific innovation, with a particular focus on material science, biomedicine, supercomputing and energy with major investments in the excellent universities and NHS teaching hospitals of the region, and making sure the energy resources are used to the benefit of local people
  5. to raise the quality of life in the north-west by supporting its great cultural and sporting strengths, building up to 25,000 new homes, nurturing the rural environment and improving education outcomes in the region’s schools so over 75,000 more pupils attend outstanding schools
  6. to give greater power and voice to the great cities and counties of the north-west, delivering a new directly-elected Mayor for Greater Manchester, and supporting other areas with appropriate plans to give people greater control over their local economy and local government

The size of the prize if the northern powerhouse can be created in the north-west is clear:

  • an £18bn real terms increase in the size of the north-west economy by 2030, if we raise the long-term growth rate of the north-west to at least as high as the forecast overall UK growth rate
  • this is equivalent to over £2,000 per person in the north-west in real terms
  • over 100,000 more people in employment during the next Parliament, if the working age employment rate gap between the north-west and the UK average was closed today
  • up to 25,000 new homes for families in the north-west, if we continue our substantial level of investment in housing in the region
  • over 75,000 more children attending outstanding schools, if school performance in the North West matches that in the highest performing region

Chancellor George Osborne said:

Britain’s small businesses are the backbone to our economy, which is why a key part of our long term economic plan is helping them grow and succeed.

I’m delighted with today’s announcement that Farmhouse Biscuits is planning to expand its workforce, which shows our long term economic plan is working to create jobs and investment in north of England and increase the region’s exports to the rest of the world. This is backed by analysis that shows the north-west has seen the joint fastest growth in output per head in the UK.

Gill McIvor, Farmhouse Biscuits said:

As a long standing large employer in Nelson, we’ve seen at first hand the challenging economic times the area has been through and the real progress that’s now being made.

Over the last year we’ve invested heavily in new Bakery offices and a new warehouse, which will help us reach new customers both here and abroad.

And we’re hoping 2015 is going to be even better – we’ll be launching new products and, if everything goes to plan, will be taking on another 10 to 20 staff, with each job we create helping the local area.

Published 8 January 2015