BRADFORD’S manufacturing sector is alive and kicking, says the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

In a keynote address, president Nick Garthwaite said the sector was in a strong position to drive the city forward, with many local firms “punching above their weight”.

In light of that, Mr Garthwaite said Bradford was to host its first Manufacturing Week next year.

It is designed to be a celebration of all things “great and good” about the sector, at present and looking to the future.

During his speech at the Chamber’s annual dinner, Mr Garthwaite invited those involved in manufacturing to stand and deliver a short ‘elevator pitch’ on themselves and their businesses, to shine a spotlight on positive things happening in the sector.

BASF, Keighley Laboratories and Mansfield Pollard were singled out for special mention at the event, which was attended by Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe and some of the city’s MPs.

And while Brexit, devolution and the Northern Powerhouse were all touched on, the Chamber said Mr Garthwaite’s speech was a “reminder of the importance of manufacturing to Bradford’s future, and that it is not a relic from the past”.

Mr Garthwaite also drew on former Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s 1967 speech about changing technologies and called for a “new white heat of manufacturing digitisation”.

He said this would help change young people’s perceptions of the manufacturing sector and persuade them about the career options on offer.

Mr Garthwaite, who runs Christeyns, an international chemicals and detergents manufacturer, also announced the Chamber’s charities to be supported during his two-year term.

Beanstalk (formerly Reading Matters) and Canterbury Imagine – both literacy support groups for the underprivileged – will benefit from the Chamber’s work.


The other keynote speaker was Mark Gallagher, a businessman with a number of years of experience in motor car racing, especially Formula 1.

Entertainment was provided by comedian Funmbi Omotayo.

The event was sponsored by the Business Enterprise Fund, Christeyns, Ecology Building Society and Exa Networks.