Writing in this week's Redditch Standard (January 26th), Rachel said:
“As the local MP, I get the honour of visiting Redditch’s world-leading and successful businesses.
These businesses employ thousands of local residents and drive economic growth which helps to fund the public services that we all rely on.
Having visited hundreds of these businesses since I was first elected, the only conclusion you can come to is that Redditch certainly packs a big punch on the world stage – and I’m not being over the top when I say that.
I often tell people that Redditch is home to world-leading and successful businesses, but because they're tucked away on vast industrial estates in our town, they often go unnoticed by local residents.
I visited two of these businesses just recently. First, I visited Unilite, a family-run business which was started in 1981.
Established as a lighting supplier, Unilite has grown into one of the world’s leading flashlight manufacturers and has 3,000 clients worldwide. Unilite is also at the top of its game when it comes to marketing, with one of the most popular tool and trade podcasts being recorded and produced from their Redditch factory.
Second, I recently visited DS Smith's industry-first global packaging R&D and innovation centre.
The facility, which opened in October 2023, includes a 4,000m2 pilot hall, four laboratories, conditioning chambers, an ideation and design studio, prototyping areas, and collaboration spaces.
As well as being the home of DS Smith’s Innovation and R&D teams, the facility is spearheading research in manufacturing, maximising on the growing demand for sustainable packaging, and the innovation needed to deliver it - and it's all happening here in Redditch.
The point I’m trying to make is that our town really is a great place to do business. That’s further demonstrated in the most recent data from the House of Commons Library which shows there are hundreds more businesses in Redditch now than when I was first elected.
Despite all the predictions from the doomsters and gloomsters that Brexit would damage business, in fact we’ve seen businesses seize the opportunities from new trade deals, regulatory freedoms and tax cuts. The UK’s economy has actually grown faster than any other major European economy since 2010.
And, whilst Labour merely tolerates business, I will continue to make sure Redditch remains a great place for businesses to grow and create jobs because only Conservatives understand that’s how you fund public services and improve people’s lives.”