David Cameron praises Silentnight as UK manufacturing success story
Prime Minister, David Cameron, paid tribute to leading bed manufacturer, Silentnight, this Friday (16th May 2014) in a visit to its Barnoldswick headquarters and factory as part of a tour of UK manufacturing success stories.
Caption: David Cameron is welcomed to Silentnight by Chairman Adrian Fawcett
Mr Cameron praised the great work that Silentnight is doing, describing the leading bed manufacturer as a 'great business' and emphasised its investment in UK manufacture, product innovation and successful apprenticeship scheme.
Showcasing the leading bed manufacturer's commitment to product quality, the Conservative leader received a tour behind the scenes at Silentnight's manufacturing facilities and on-site testing laboratory where he was shown the rigorous testing procedures that all mattresses are put through.
Caption: Iftikhar Mirza, Quality Assurance Manager at Silentnight, showcases the on-site testing laboratory
Caption: David Cameron is shown the manufacturing facilities at Silentnight
Caption: David Cameron meets Silentnight staff at the factory in Barnoldswick
A visit to Silentnight's showroom then gave the Prime Minister the opportunity to try out a bed from Silentnight's ground-breaking new Geltex Collection - a range which combines Silentnight's 60 years of bed making experience to offer a mattresses which delivers triple benefits and the ultimate in performance and comfort.
However, there was no time to sleep on the job, next Mr Cameron was warmly welcomed to the factory floor by a 200-strong crowd of Silentnight employees to host a PM Direct question and answer session.
Caption: David Cameron hosts a PM Direct session on the factory floor at Silentnight
The session covered a range of topics from pensions, international aid, Europe and corporation tax. When asked 'What bed he slept on', the Prime Minister revealed that it was a mattress that was purchased as a wedding present by his mother-in-law 18 years ago.
The visit comes just weeks after Silentnight reported 11 per cent rise in sales, breaking the £100m sales barrier and outstripping performance of the total market which stood at around 2 per cent.
Steve Freeman, Silentnight Manager Director, said: "It was a huge honour to welcome David Cameron to Silentnight to see behind the scenes at our factory.
"As a UK manufacturer that is committed to quality and service, it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the great work that we are doing, whilst giving our staff the public recognition that they deserve.
"The fact that he has not changed his mattress for 18 years came as a surprise to everyone in the question and answer session - we have of course offered to advise him on his next purchase.
"Mr Cameron was genuinely impressed with our investment in innovation and commitment to producing products of the highest standard which are manufactured and tested on-site.
"Our recent sales figures demonstrate that this focus on quality, innovation and service is helping to further strengthen our position as the UK's leading bed manufacturer."
Caption: Paul McKoen, Silentnight Chief Financial Officer, walks David Cameron through the Silentnight factory.
The Prime Minister also dedicated part of the session to say 'Happy Birthday' to Silentnight apprentice, Robert Harrison, who turned 18 that day. Robert was given a signed birthday card to commemorate the occasion.
Caption: Silentnight apprentice, Robert Harrison, receives an 18th birthday card from David Cameron.