Politically Speaking Colum in Wakefield Express

Last Friday I had a difficult job to do. I was locked in the Wakefield Express offices to judge this year’s Wakefield Business Awards. There was a brilliant set of entries – with everything from global businesses to new start ups and small companies.

It was tough going given the many high quality businesses that we were considering. I joined Joanne Roney – the Chief Executive of Wakefield Council and Jeremy Garside – a Managing Partner at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors on the judging panel. We finally came to a consensus on the winners of this year’s awards. It was hard to choose so we decided to add another special ‘judges’ award. The final is on the 30th June so you won’t be kept in suspense for long and you will be able to read all about it in the Express.

Before the judging, I visited a local big business in our district, called Rexam – based at Junction 41. They are the biggest drinks can manufacturer in Europe and right here in Wakefield they produce cans for the big brands like Coca Cola, Barrs, Vimto, and more. They also export their products right across Europe and we should be proud that products ‘Made in Wakefield’ are consumed across the globe.

One of Rexam’s biggest partners is with Coca Cola. As many of you will know the Coke factory is located just next door at Junction 41 and around half of Rexam’s production is dedicated to Coca Cola. So just think, the next time you open a can of Coke – you’re helping to support our local economy.

Given that the drinks can is one of the most recycled products in the world, Rexam are a company who are always keen to become greener and to reduce their environmental impact. The company must meet tough environmental standards – this is good news, especially considering the huge volumes of cans produced, around a staggering 2 billion a year – and all made in Wakefield.

The company has really gone from strength to strength, but what took me aback was when I was told that 40% of the workforce have been there since it opened in 1989 – that’s loyalty!

It was great for me to celebrate new businesses at the awards – but we also need to keep these big employers investing in our district. Especially as we are situated at the ‘crossroads of Britain’ – with fantastic connections to the M1 and M62 – we must continue to bang the drum for our district and to attract new companies to our area.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • email
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Twitter
Posted June 10th, 2011 by Ed