Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told staff at a global engineering firm based in Silsden they were an example of a national recovery in manufacturing.

Mr Osborne was a guest of Advanced Actuators, which makes complex hydraulic machinery used in gas and oil industries around the world.

And after tea and a chat with apprentices beside a huge mechanism bound for Mexico, he also paid tribute to the firm’s policies of employing eager youngsters and using engineering parts made in Airedale.

“I’ve been hugely impressed by the advanced manufacturing that’s taking place here in Silsden,” the Chancellor said.

“What’s great about this company is that it uses other local companies to make parts for things which are exported around the world.

“And it’s impressive the way they bring on the apprentices in their workforce.

“It’s a real vote of confidence in British manufacturing and the West Yorkshire economy - I find it hugely refreshing to see this happening,” he said.

Chris Woodhead, director of Advance Actuators commented on the Chancellor’s visit: “We have really benefited from the new export finance scheme where 80 percent of any loan to a company is guaranteed by the Government.

“It’s been fantastic to have Mr Osborne here and show him what we’re doing with youth employment, other local firms and global exports.

“If this doesn’t ring his bell - there’s something wrong!” said Mr Woodhead, whose growing firm had a £3 million turnover last year.