On 2nd May 2023, Composites UK hosted its very first Parliamentary Reception on the Terrance Pavilion at the Houses of Parliament.
This members-only event, organised by the Association’s Chairman, Alan Banks of Ford Motor Company, highlighted to Government representatives how the composites sector brings together world leading science, engineering and innovation skills which are fundamental to achieving the UK’s transformation to a low carbon future.
The event launched with three speeches, starting with Giles Watling MP’s introduction, which championed the future importance for composites within the transport sector: “The composites sector turns over £10.72 billion annually and it has 47,500 employees so we need to invest. As the Chairman of the Great Eastern Mainline Taskforce, I’m very enthusiastic about rail and transport, and composites are very much a part of that.”
Dr David Bailey, Composites UK’s CEO then took to the stage stating: “The opportunity and growth of the UK composites industry is intrinsically linked to the UK’s commitment to a net zero future. Put simply, without the composites industry, the UK’s new zero goals will be impossible to realise.
“Composites have a direct influence on all aspects of the ten-point plan to decarbonise the UK. Advanced offshore wind, low carbon hydrogen, advanced nuclear power, zero emission vehicles, green transport, jet zero, green buildings, carbon capture, green finance and innovation as well as protecting our natural environment will all be reliant on composite materials in one form or another to realise these goals. And encouraging growth in these sectors is simply necessary to keep the UK at the forefront of these technologies.”
The final speaker, Richard Holden MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport, recognised the UK composites industry and offered his support: “I want to see this British success story become even more world leading. We’ve got a world class industry here and we need to help take it to the next level. Both myself and my department is looking forward to working with you and across Government to help you deliver that action.”
The reception was attended by 96 representatives from Composites UK member companies and joined by other House of Commons representatives including Lord Redesdale, Lee Anderson MP and Paul Maynard MP.
Marcus Henry from Jaguar Land Rover, said: “This was a fantastic event in a great location, having access to policymakers that can catapult our industry forward.”
Richard Brine of Elemy added: “I thought the event was an excellent way for the composites industry to engage with those tasked with shaping Government policy and reminding them that this low carbon growth area is one that should be on their radar.”
The headline partner of this event was Cygnet Texkimp, and additional partners were GKN Aerospace, MPM, the Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering Centre (NIACE) and Santander Corporate and Commercial. Further support came from the Advanced Engineering Show and the International Composites Summit.