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Business Minister Margot James with Jeff Highfield, Ian Kinnery and Sharon Starkey

During Margot James’ country wide engagement tour, the minister visited Stockton-On-Tees to host an Industrial Strategy roundtable. The meeting discussed how diversity can strengthen the governments industrial strategy.

The business minister had the opportunity to meet with businesses within the region and hear their opinions on the matter, with the aim “to find out directly from businesses how the industrial strategy can support diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”

Business Minister Margot James said:

“Diversity and inclusion are key to the UK economy maximising its potential. Through our modern Industrial Strategy and investment in the Northern Powerhouse, we are building an economy that works for everyone and I enjoyed talking to employers in the North East about how we can work together to build on the regions strengths, raise living standards and create new, well-paid jobs in other industries and sectors.”

During Margot James’ appointment she visited the Grade II Listed building Gloucester House, which has recently undergone a £1m refurbishment, transforming it into luxury offices. With 20 businesses based in the business centre it was a great opportunity for the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility to discuss diversity in the workplace with local businesses.

Jeff Highfield, owner of Gloucester House said: “The Tees Valley is a unique place to live and work. We are experts at working innovatively with the resources available, whilst delivering amazing results. Those organisations that embrace diversity will be in a position to offer a more varied service to their clients, tap into a variety of skills and support global trading.”   

Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “The refurbishment of Gloucester House is a real success story and it’s great to see so many businesses choosing to locate so close to Stockton High Street. It’s a big vote of confidence in all that we’re striving to achieve and I’m delighted the building’s owner and businesses have had an opportunity to tell the minister about all the good work going on here.” 

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