The Government’s Treasury spokesman in the House of Lords, Lord Newby has visited the Leicester showroom of independent plumbing and heating merchant Pochin.
Lord Newby was on a fact-finding mission to Leicester, with local councillor Zaffar Haq, to hear first hand of the challenges facing small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) seeking to grow and create jobs.
The House of Lords deputy chief whip was welcomed to Pochin’s award-winning William Street flagship showroom alongside John Newcomb, managing director of the Builders Merchants Federation, who helped to organise the visit.
Newby was encouraged to hear about the growth in confidence in the market and how this is feeding through to greater sales at Pochin, and added that this “bodes well for a strong overall economic performance in 2014”.
Managing director David Pochin said: “I’m glad Lord Newby spent a day in Leicester meeting businesses. It’s important that the Government hears first hand about the constraints on SMEs and how they can be helped to expand and invest.”
Pochin’s William Street branch has seen significant investment by the business. Pochin has also this year acquired the West Midlands plumbers’ merchant Plumbwares. The deal for the Stourbridge business, completed in January, is Pochin’s first in the region following years of investment in the East Midlands.
The company is also set to be an active member of the BMF’s new Plumbing and Heating Sector which will support merchants and suppliers operating in this part of the market.
BMF MD, John Newcomb, said: “It’s good to see the government undertaking fact-finding missions in the regions and in our sector. Pochin is an excellent example of a company that has invested during the downturn and is now in a position to benefit from a growing market. While this is positive news, we also explained to Lord Newby the importance of continuing government investment in apprentice training to encourage young people into our industry.”