Business Secretary Vince Cable praises company awarded £1.95m grant

Business Secretary Vince Cable at Millbrook.
Business Secretary Vince Cable at Millbrook.

A Millbrook engineering company discovered it had been awarded a £1.95 million Government grant following a visit from the Business Secretary Vince Cable today (Thursday, April 10). Report by Layth Yousif.

A total of 45 new jobs are expected to be created at Millbrook Proving Ground after the firm received the funds from round five of the Government’s regional growth fund (RGF) announced today by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Mr Cable said: “This is a brlliant project here in Millbrook. They have successfully relaunched their company. The Government has given them a modest amount of money but they are bringing in a lot of private capital alongside it and they potentially have got a very good future.”

Millbrook is one of Europe’s leading test and engineering solution providers for the automotive, public transport, energy and defence markets, The grant will support investment in state-of-the-art facilities for research and development in advanced propulsion and emissions reduction and the investment is linked to safeguarding existing jobs and creating 45 new positions over the next five years.

Alex Burns, Millbrook chief executive officer, said: “There will be new jobs created from this. We expect to create about 45 new jobs over the next three or four years as a result of this investment. This grant will enable Millbrook to invest in new facilities and strengthen our relationships with our customers, public transport agencies and academic institutions.

“My thoughts on the Minister are that he was very interested and engaged in the business and it was great to have him here.”

Millbrook apprentice Scott Parsons, 21, said: “Mr Cable was very easy to talk to and seemed very interested in what my job was about.”

Mr Cable also urged Bedford businesses to look at exporting to increase profits and boost recover.

He said: “We are getting a very impressive recovery in the short run but if that growth is going to be sustained we have to have export-led growth and that has been missing so far.

“I would urge Bedford and small and medium sized Bedford companies to look at exports because not enough small companies look at exports. Also to look at the Chambers of Commerce we are establishing in major emerging markets - the Germans have been plugging this for years - where Bedford companies can talk to contacts we have made. Also the Governent can help with trade finance and practical support to Bedford companies if they go overseas.”

Mr Cable also had a message for Bedford voters saying: “Although this is not a seat where traditionally the Lib Dems have done well I know the local Lib-Dem Mayor of Bedford has made a very big impact on the area and on the back of his very impressive performance we are very much in play in this part of the world.”