New Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins chose the largest private sector employer in the Aire Valley for his first official constituency visit since being elected.

He toured the Acorn Stairlifts factory in Steeton, where in the past year the company has invested more than £1m on a new production line, creating more than 80 new jobs, including CAD technicians and skilled machine operators.

The new plant includes a fully-automated powder-coating plant designed specially for Acorn, which employs more than 400 staff at its Steeton base and 60 in a distribution centre at Shipley.

Acorn also employs another 700 staff at a factory in Scotland and offices in the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany.

Mr Hopkins said: “Acorn is a first-class example of a British company that has thrived through increased investment. It is firms like Acorn that will really help to get our local and national economy moving once again.

“I was thoroughly impressed with everything I saw and everyone I met. The factory itself is magnificent and the senior management clearly know what they are doing.

“This was the first in a series of visits to local enterprises I intend to undertake in the weeks and months ahead, to get a real feel for what the local business community want, and to find out what I can do to assist them.”

Finance director Ed Putnam said: “We were delighted to show him the results of our investment in the Steeton factory."