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Business Minister praises city’s entrepreneurial spirit on visit to manufacturer

She met representatives of more than 30 companies at the Shenley Wood headquarters of Niftylift, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mobile elevated work platforms.

The visit was hosted by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership and the minister talked to companies supported by SEMLEP’s Velocity Growth Hub and members of the networking group Women in Enterprise.

Speaking during her visit, Anna Soubry (pictured with Niftylift chairman Roger Bowden) said: “Today has been a great opportunity to meet local business owners and see how Velocity Growth Hub is helping them to expand.

“Milton Keynes is a dynamic and fast growing city. From what I have seen today it is clearly full of entrepreneurial spirit and has the potential to continue creating new jobs and driving economic growth throughout the region.”

Mr Bowden and Milton Keynes Council leader Cllr Pete Marland, also welcomed the Minister to the event. The Minister spoke to four businesses which have been supported by Velocity Growth Hub this year: Expandly, which sells online sales channel management software, digital and large format printers Bobcat, handbag distributor Mia Tui, and Concrete Cow Brewery.

Mia Tui owner Charlotte Jamme told Ms Soubry: "Milton Keynes is a fantastic place to do business, with a really vibrant community. There is a feel-good factor about the place and we have been helped along the way by Velocity who have always been there to give their support.

“There is a sense of momentum building in Milton Keynes right now and the business community is thriving."

SEMLEP is awaiting a government decision on future funding for its Velocity programme, which has led to the creation of 498 new jobs and safeguarded a further 433 this year.

Mr Bowden said: “SEMLEP and Velocity do sterling work in the support and development of local businesses and it is gratifying to be able to open our doors to them and share this opportunity to discuss the challenges we all face in today’s competitive business climate.”