Visiting the manufacturer which is one of the largest suppliers of stairlifts in the world, the former Foreign Secretary and Conservative Party leader was “very impressed” with the company’s innovation and its creation of jobs.
“This is a very impressive business and one of the terrific things about it is its success in exporting with more than half of the business based on export. This is creating good, skilled jobs for the future which is a tribute to the staff and management here.
“When we run the economy well, that gives companies like Acorn the confidence to invest and expand.”
Mr Hague was shown around the firm’s premises in Millennium Business Park in Steeton on April 8 by company secretary Dave Belmont and factory manager Andrew Longthorne. After being shown the technology behind Acorn’s unique next day curved stairlift installation processes, he said: “This is an excellent example of Yorkshire innovation at its best.”
Employing more than 400 staff in its factories and head office at Steeton and Shipley, Acorn Stairlifts increased its revenues in North America by more than 260% from £19.5m to £52.2m between 2010 and 2013. Last year, Acorn received awards for exports at the Yorkshire Growth and the Made in Yorkshire Awards.
With more than 1,400 employees worldwide, the company is one of Yorkshire’s top 150 companies and has subsidiaries in the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Hague had been invited to Acorn by Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Keighley Kris Hopkins, who also paid tribute to the company and its staff. “Acorn Stairlifts is rightly regarded as one of the stand-out firms and best employers in the area,” he said.
“Its rapid expansion, both in the domestic and export markets, stands as evidence of the remarkable success the firm has achieved. Management and staff at Acorn deserve great credit for their charity work, particularly in support of Manorlands Hospice which has received more than £40,000 as a result of their efforts.”
Acorn’s Company Secretary Dave Belmont added: “Acorn Stairlifts is a great international success story so it was very pleasing to be recognised by Mr Hague’s visit.”