I recently visited NIC Instruments Limited, in Gladstone Road, Folkestone, and met with the Managing Director, Steve Wisbey and members of his team. NIC is a family run business that has been based in the town for over forty years. The firm originally specialised in medical equipment, but is now a world leader in the defence industries. In particular, NIC develops equipment to support organisations involved in the defeat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The systems they create and supply help the teams operating on the ground in some of the world’s worst war zones, to seek and render safe explosive devices. This is hugely important work that saves lives, and it is great that a local business like NIC is one of the leaders in this field. Steve Wisbey and his team are also showing that smaller manufacturing businesses can compete internationally. This is another great Folkestone success story.
Businesses like NIC are export led and for them have full access to the European Single Market is vital to their success. There are other local manufacturing companies, like HV Wooding in Hythe, who are part of international supply chains that run across different European countries. It is no longer always the case, that products are simply made in one place and then sold in another. Specialist parts and supplies can be sourced internationally which again, makes our position in the European Single Market so important. Local jobs are directly linked to the ability of local businesses to compete and win contracts against other companies right across Europe. Anything which adds costs to these businesses, like tariffs and charges for trading between different countries, can lead to jobs being lost.
Congratulations are due to Folkestone Invicta for securing the Ryman League South championship in fine style on Good Friday. Neil Cugley’s, team have lead the way this season and to wrap up the league title in March is very impressive and more than makes up for the disappointment of narrowly missing out on promotion last year. Credit is also due to the club chairman Jim Pellatt and everyone involved in the organisation at Invicta. Not only have they enjoyed sporting success this season, but it has been done the right way, and with the club finances in the best shape they have been in for many years. Hythe Town are also continuing their fine form since Christmas and have a good chance of securing a place in the promotion playoffs from the same division. It would be a great double it they could also secure promotion, and keep the fantastic league derby match between the two clubs on the fixture list for next season.