I am proud to champion innovative local business in our area, which is the key to local employment security and flexibility. I successfully lobbied for a Local Industrial Strategy and Defence Industrial Policy to complement the national Industrial Strategy, which rightly identify the Yeovil area as a key hub for aerospace and high tech manufacturing. From local SMEs such as Ariel Motors, builder of the fastest road car which has new supercar and battery projects of great interest, and photonics, optronics, electronics and materials firms with truly global export reach, through to large high tech OEM manufacturers like Leonardo Helicopters selling all over the world, we have some incredible activity and opportunities.
Infrastructure investment like the recent rail upgrades, A303 corridor dualling which is on track and renewed focus on proper broadband provision, should be complemented by more incentives for expansion by companies big and small locally, investments such as the iAero innovation hub in Yeovil which I helped get funded, and reductions in business rates such as the 1/3 discount I helped get for all businesses with rateable value of £54,000 or less. That way they can play a crucial role in our strategy to spread prosperity throughout the nation to support the strong services we want, and to create jobs at the high rate of recent years which gives people the opportunity of gainful employment and progress.