The summer recess saw an expected slowing down of the IPT’s Fellowship Programme, however we maintained our programme of visits during August, with an acceleration of activity in September. We saw Parliamentarians visit manufacturing sites, water companies, media centres and more.
Our first visit on 7 August saw Taiwo Owatemi MP continue her Fellowship with a visit to Jaguar Land Rover. This visit involved Taiwo learning about the manufacturing process and the importance of automotives to the West Midlands' economy. She also got the chance to get behind the wheel of a Jaguar.
Baroness Berridge had a busy August on her Fellowship with visits to Tideway and Anglian Water. On 11 August, she visited the Tideway Tunnel project at their Abbey Mills site located at the end of the tunnel. The visit involved gaining a better understanding of this infrastructure project and the importance of modernising the London sewage system to improve the water quality of the Thames. The visit also highlighted the scale of the project and the wider economic and employment benefits that an infrastructure project of this scale can have. On 14 August, Baroness Berridge travelled to Rutland to visit Anglian Water’s Wing Water Treatment Works to gain an understanding of the process of treating and cleaning our water for consumption. She got to see this process in action and understand how it all works.
September started with Rachael Maskell MP visiting Sky in Osterley, West London to learn about advancing technologies in the digital space and the importance of the digital economy in her home city of York. The visit included a tour of Sky Sports Studios and a look into Sky’s Academy Studios which offers school children memorable experiences creating their own media content using cutting edge technology.
On 5 September, Harriett Baldwin MP continued her Fellowship with a Parliamentary briefing from the Federation of Master Builders. This covered the role that the FMB plays in the construction sector and the importance of how retrofitting and better insulation will help us to reach our Net Zero goals. Harriett also had the chance to ask any questions she had about the construction sector. Also on this day, Baroness Berridge had a briefing in Parliament with the CEO of Water UK to hear about his career in the water industry and the role that Water UK plays as a representative body. The briefing allowed her to gain a better understanding of how the water industry operates in the UK.
Dr Philippa Whitford MP continued her Fellowship on 7 September with a visit to Airbus’ Surrey Satellite site in Guildford. A tour of the site allowed her to see the manufacturing process involved in their satellite productions. She also got to understand the work that they do in observing the earth through various satellite missions and with geospatial data.
On 8 September Peter Gibson MP visited Caterpillar UK at their facility in Stockton-on-Tees. He toured the site to observe the manufacturing process where building construction materials are produced. He also got an overview of the business and the role they play in the Teesside economy.
On 12 September, Matt Vickers MP continued his Fellowship focusing on the retail sector by visiting GS1 in London to learn more about the future of retail from a standards perspective, looking at standards in action across retail and future products.
Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle began her Fellowship on 14 September, on UK Horticulture by meeting the Chair of the Horticultural Trade Association in Parliament. The discussion focused on the challenges and opportunities facing environmental horticulture in the UK and efforts to grow more.
On 18 September, Liz Twist MP visited a large refurbishment and extension development in Central London with Galliford Try, continuing her Fellowship focusing on Mental Health in the construction sector. The visit focused on Galliford Try’s various initiatives and approach to the challenge of supporting the mental health of construction workers.
Stephen McPartland MP also started his Fellowship this month, with visits to Ankura Consulting and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, to learn about who they are and the range of clients they work with. He also visited mining company Anglo-American to find out about the different parts of their business including the Woodsmith Project, a state-of-the-art mine being constructed in the North York Moors.
Sir James Duddridge MP completed two visits on 25 and 26 September, with a visit to NATS in Swanwick and Rio Tinto in London respectively. His first visit saw him at NATS’ air traffic control centre in Hampshire where a large proportion of the UK’s airspace is managed and operated. A tour of the site allowed him to see its operations, including London City Airport’s digital control tower, which gave him an understanding of the business. He then went on to visit Rio Tinto in London, where the visit included presentations about the business, the challenges they are facing and how they aim to become more sustainable.
We would like to thank all the businesses who hosted these Fellowship Programme visits, and to the parliamentarians for taking the time to attend.