Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye, Amber Rudd, recently paid upholstery manufacturer Collins and Hayes’ factory and new showroom a visit, and was given a guided tour by MD Matt O’Flynn. Following the business’ reinvigoration strategy over the year, the timing was ideal for Amber to see for herself the developments that Collins and Hayes is making, and learn about its plans for the future.

As well as having the chance to present the company’s most recent product within the setting of its fresh new showroom, and to illustrate the workings of the business’ impressive factory – including the skilled manufacturing process behind each product – Matt was keen to take the opportunity to tackle important wider issues with Amber. This included discussing the needs of the furniture industry – for example, support behind the All-Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group, as well as how the industry and Parliament can work together to try to encourage more local people to take up a profession in the manufacturing workplace.

Amber has shown that she is keen to support local furniture manufacturing – back in January she also visited the factory and showroom of The Ridge-based Michael Tyler Furniture.

Commenting on her trip to Collins and Hayes, Amber says: “I was delighted to visit Collins and Hayes and see first-hand our thriving manufacturing industry in Hastings as well as the splendid array of sofas on display. It was encouraging to hear of Matt’s ambitious plans for the company’s future, his commitment to skills and apprenticeships and support for our recently-announced National Living Wage.”

Matt O’Flynn adds: “Collins and Hayes were delighted to have the opportunity of showing Amber the new facilities in our factory and discuss how the company can engage more with the community. It was also a good opportunity to explain how the industry we are in works and what we need to grow.”

Collins and Hayes will be exhibiting at the upcoming AIS Furniture Show in Solihull from 1st-2nd September, Long Point exhibition in Long Eaton from 14-16th September, and the Autumn Furniture Show in Telford from 6-7th October.