Image Above: From L-R: Karen Clough (Marketing Dept), Emma Sant (HR Dept), Karen Starkey (HR Dept), Amy Johnson (Marketing Dept)
Wakefield conservatory manufacturers smashed the glass ceiling at the inaugural Wakefield Manufacturing Awards to win Manufacturer of the Year 2018.
The all-girl team from Conservatory Outlet collected the glass gong at a lunch to celebrate the sector, which employs 18000 people and contributes more than 30 per cent to the district’s Gross Domestic Product, in the city during Business Week.
At the same lunch manufacturers were urged to be brave and tell decision makers what they need to make Brexit a success, by Mark Ridgeway CEO of Group Rhodes.
Addressing the district’s diverse manufacturers who were celebrating a year of success he reminded them that the sector was dynamic, diverse and offered real careers for the next generation in industries ranging from food, glazing and state of the art technology and had a healthy supply chain network extending around the globe.
And while some at the Unity Works lunch were concerned that the shadow of Brexit would impact the local economy, Adrian Brooks of Production Park said that while his creative hub was almost completely international he had no intention to relocate but invest further in the former South Kirkby pit village.
The Wakefield Manufacturing Awards were organised by the Wakefield Manufacturing Forum to recognize and pay respect to an important sector in the District.
Shortlisted industries included traditional engineering, textiles and companies from the fast growing creative and arts sector.
Tim Mee, chair of the WMF said that manufacturers often felt overlooked, but in Wakefield it was one of the fastest growing, high value sectors employing skilled people.
Amy Johnson, of Conservatory Outlet, which was named Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by Pure Technology Group, said: “We have invested heavily in new product ranges and expanding our distributor network to ensure the business remains sustainable for our 130 employees in Wakefield and this award is fantastic recognition of our commitment,” she said.