Maggie champions Long Eaton’s upholsterers

On Wednesday (24th January 2019), Erewash MP Maggie Throup secured a debate in Parliament to discuss the important contribution furniture manufacturers make to the UK economy.

Latest Government verified figures show that nationally, the wider furniture and furnishings sector, including specialist retail but excluding general retail, supports some 327,000 jobs across 50,000 registered companies.

Consumer expenditure on furniture and furnishings was almost £17.5 billion in 2017, representing a 21 per cent increase from 2014, and exceeded all other spend in the household goods sector, despite an increasingly challenging retail market.

During the debate Maggie championed Long Eaton as a global centre for UK upholstery and was able to raise the some of the key challenges facing manufacturers, including the potential risks posed to local businesses and their highly skilled workforce by HS2.

Speaking after the debate, Maggie commented:

“I am delighted that Parliament has had the opportunity to consider the importance of the UK’s thriving furniture industry and in particular manufacturers, who contribute so much more to our economy than they have perhaps traditionally been given credit for.

“Long Eaton sits at the very heart of the furniture manufacturing industry, being globally recognised as the ‘UK Centre of Excellence for Upholstery Manufacturing’.

“In our town alone, we have over 50 companies involved in furniture manufacturing and its supply chain, who collectively employ around 2,700 people and turnover more than £250 million each year.

“The debate also gave me the opportunity to again raise HS2 and the significant risk it poses to businesses and their workforce locally, if the Government does not pull out all of the stops to mitigate and appropriately compensate all those will be displaced by the construction of the new route.

“I was therefore encouraged by the Minister’s remarks on Government support available for businesses needing to relocate because of this major infrastructure project and look forward to meeting him and officials from the Department for Transport to discuss the issue again in early February, where I hope further progress can be made.”

- Maggie is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group, which exists to raise awareness of the UK’s thriving furniture industry and to promote its importance to our economy.

 - A full transcript of the debate, including the reply from the Minister for Business and Industry, Richard Harrington MP, can be read here: