PRIME Minister Rishi Sunak has visited a leading Keighley company – and praised the town as "a powerhouse of talent".

He was given a tour of the Teconnex head office and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, in Chesham Street, yesterday.

Mr Sunak, who was accompanied by Keighley MP Robbie Moore, met employees and apprentices at the firm – which is a world leader in clamping technologies and has recently diversified into battery storage.

Afterwards, Mr Sunak said it had been "a pleasure" to visit the company and meet its team.

He added: "I am determined to ensure that our manufacturing and tech sectors thrive both across the UK and on a global stage and I have seen first-hand how businesses like Teconnex are doing just that.

"Keighley is a powerhouse of talent and after speaking with the Teconnex team, including the apprentices, I have heard how the firm is leading the way in the manufacturing of clamp technologies – and also how through its ingenuity, it has diversified into new markets of battery technology.

"The manufacturing sector contributes billions to our economy each year and delivers millions of highly skilled jobs, and it is businesses like Teconnex that ensure the sector continues to thrive."

The "brilliant" work of businesses across Keighley was also praised by Mr Moore, who said he had welcomed the opportunity to showcase the "entrepreneurial and innovative spirit" of the town's manufacturing, engineering and tech sectors.

He added: "It was great to host the Prime Minster at Teconnex, where he had the chance to see for himself the brilliant work the company is doing within its core business of clamping solutions for industrial and automotive use.

"The Prime Minister also had the opportunity to see the firm's latest product line developments within the world of battery storage, which aims to help commercial and industrial facilities become more energy independent.

"Meeting with employees and apprentices, it outlined why it is so important to have a strong vocational-based skills agenda so our core manufacturing, engineering and tech businesses can go from strength to strength."

Teconnex, a family-owned business, employs 500 people at its Keighley site plus 700 workers at expanding overseas locations.

Managing director, Chris Marsden, says: "It’s great to be able to showcase our business and people, whilst sharing our story of growth, but it’s just as important to discuss the challenges that even strong businesses have faced in recent years – including the lasting impact of Brexit, the disruption of Covid, skills shortages, supply chain constraints and rapidly rising costs of raw materials, energy and employee wages. We work tirelessly to overcome these issues just to remain a viable business.

"We are fortunate at Teconnex because we have a very experienced and dedicated team of employees, some of whom the Prime Minister had the pleasure to meet during his visit. For me it's the team ethos at Teconnex. That’s the single biggest reason we have been successful despite such a difficult environment.

"Whilst Teconnex continues to grow in core automotive sectors, we would welcome discussion on how local government can assist us with our diversification efforts – one of which is launching our own range of energy storage systems and lithium ion leisure batteries, a step into a greener future and one where businesses like Teconnex should be a priority for government."