La Hacienda Directors, John & Simon Goodwin and Export Manager, Mike Darlington, attended a private meeting at the Foreign Office with Rt Hon Lord Maude of Horsham, Trade & Investment Minister at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Westminster with their local MP, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and Bob Collier, Deputy Director of the United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI) on Thursday, 7th January.
La Hacienda are the UKs leading Outdoor Heating and Outdoor Living brand and are increasingly become established globally. Based at Aston Down Airfield, between Stroud and Cirencester, they employ 43 people from the local area. Exports have doubled in the last four years and La Hacienda products are now available in over 40 countries in 5 continents. They plan to double export turnoveragain in the coming year.
The constructive meeting was set up to discuss how the British Government through its trade exporting body, UKTI, can give more financial help and advice to assist SMEs such as La Hacienda to increase their exports and employ more local people.
Commenting on the meeting, Mike Darlington, La Hacienda Export Manager, said: “We were delighted, following a visit from our local MP last year, that he was able to arrange a meeting with the Minister of State for Trade and Investment the Rt Hon Lord Maude of Horsham.
“We lobbied the Minister for direct financial support for SME business to attend international showsand arrange key customer visits to support export growth. The meeting was quite timely as the Government’s target of an additional 100,000 additional companies exporting by 2020 is behind plan.
“The Minister understood the frustrations and took on board some of our ideas, agreeing to investigate how he could help not only La Hacienda but other successful SMEs as well”
“At the end of the meeting we invited the Minister to visit La Hacienda which we hope he will do when he is next in the West Country”.
Mr Clifton-Brown MP commented: "I think it was extremely useful for the Minister to hear first-hand from an already successful local company like La Hacienda how the Government could provide more help assistance at trade showsand visits to expand the company’s vital export markets.
“In my view the only sustainable way we will grow the UK economy is through exports. Medium-sized companies such as La Hacienda have a vital role to play in this”, concluded The Cotswolds MP.
Please find attached an image that was taken during the meeting. The individuals depicted from left to right are - John Goodwin, La Hacienda, Rt Hon Lorde Maude, Minister for Trade & Investment, Mike Darlington, La Hacienda, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP, Simon Goodwin, La Hacienda and Bob Collier, UKTI.