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Prince of Wales champions export drive of traditional manufacturers

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Prince of Wales champions export drive of traditional manufacturers

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The Prince of Wales visits Bedfordshire firms that use the heritage of their products to increase overseas sales.

The Prince of Wales will today (3 December 2013) visit Bedfordshire to put the spotlight on traditional UK small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that use the heritage of their products to increase overseas sales.

On his visit to Jordans Mill in Biggleswade the Prince will meet 6 locally based companies including a 300 year old hat maker and a brewer with over 100 years’ experience. The firms export to countries both within Europe and further afield including USA, UAE, and Japan.

The east of England has seen an 8.7% growth of exports to countries outside the European Union at £12.11 billion – accounting for 44% of the region’s overall exports compared to 39% a year ago.

The export section of the Prince’s visit to the region has been organised by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) as part of efforts to promote exporting and help the government achieve its target of getting up to 100,000 more SMEs to export which would generate an extra £30 billion for the UK economy.

Liz Basing, Regional Director of east of England, said:

More and more companies are finding that there is a strong demand overseas for products that have both the heritage and badge of quality given by the ‘Made in Britain’ stamp.

Today puts a group of top Bedfordshire exporters in the spotlight and I’m delighted we have the opportunity to showcase these companies as a sample of the best the county has to offer.

Companies that seek out help from UKTI do better and I encourage businesses inspired by today’s visit to get in contact with us.

Helen Nellis, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, said:

I am looking forward to welcoming the Prince of Wales to our county and introducing him to the range of excellent businesses which thrive in our community.

Jordans provides a wonderful setting in which to showcase the best of Bedfordshire.

The companies who the Prince will meet have all received, or are about to receive, support from UKTI to export. They are:

Boatswain Lighting Ltd combines the beauty of porcelain and the latest technical lighting developments to produce lights that push the boundaries of this ancient material. Individual overseas customers include the Four Seasons Hotel, Marriott Hotel and Sheraton Hotel. Boatswain is a UKTI Passport to Export customer.

Brinkley Propeller Services Ltd is one of the major facilities for aircraft propeller overhaul and repair in the UK. The company is set to increase export sales with help from UKTI’s Passport to Export scheme.

The Jordans & Ryvita Company Ltd makes cereals and crackers from the manufacturing facility adjacent to the Jordans Mill Heritage Centre at Holme Mills. Jordans purchases 80% of ingredients (by volume) from UK farmers in the form of oats, rye, wheat and barley. The company’s products are enjoyed in over 60 countries.

Tusting and Burnett Ltd manufactures leather used in handbags, boots and small leather goods sold across the world. The great majority of the company’s sales come from export. They are currently participating in UKTI’s Gateway to Global Growth programme and use other services including the Tradeshow Access Programme which helps companies exhibit overseas.

Walter Wright Ltd has been involved in the making of quality ladies hats for over 300 years, making them one of the oldest ‘blood line’ hat manufacturers in the world. The company designs and makes hats for individuals, film, theatre, television and supplies large and small department stores and boutiques world-wide. Walter Wright is a graduate of UKTI’s Passport to Export scheme.

Charles Wells Ltd is the UK’s largest private brewery, with some of the nation’s best loved beers. Charles Wells exports to over 40 countries, an achievement that was marked by the company receiving the ‘Queen’s Award for Export Achievement’ in 1997. UKTI is working with this company as part of our Mid-Sized Business programme.

Last month UKTI launched a new national campaign, Exporting is GREAT, which is targeting almost 3 million people with the ambition of generating 3,000 appointments with UKTI advisers and driving £1.2 billion in export revenue from the leads it generates.

With businesses earning £100,000 on average in additional sales within 18 months of working with UKTI, there is significant growth potential for SMEs that start exporting.

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