LAST week I met with businessman Ged Tyrell, CEO and founder of TBT Group to explore interesting new proposals aimed at shaping the future of Leigh by fostering high spec job creation through a potential opening of a cutting-edge manufacturing facility.

We discussed strategies to stimulate economic development, education, and job opportunities in the area. TBT Group is a pioneer in Smart Building solutions, developing cutting-edge IoT technologies for residential and commercial facilities to enhance resource consumption optimisation, streamlined operations and sustainability.

Both Ged and I share a common understanding of Leigh's past and potential for rejuvenation. Once a bustling industrial town, it can experience a renaissance with joint efforts of dedicated business leaders like Ged, innovative new companies and others in the community. This collaborative approach aims to create a partnership between businesses, government and educational institutions.

Ged discussed a future picture of Leigh as a vibrant hub for business research and development. The key aspect of this centres around a proposal to expand his company's operations to include hi-tech manufacturing to continue with the intention of creating quality career opportunities for locals. One TBT Group company, Halo Smart IoT, develops cutting-edge devices to monitor properties, which provides environmental data to detect and notify the of any emerging risk factors in the household. This innovative solution is already making strides, implemented in several local authorities' council housing and housing association properties. Other global hi-tech products are also intended for manufacturing and distribution from the future Leigh-based facility.

A new manufacturing facility in Leigh would not only bolster the local economy but lead to an increased demand for qualification courses in universities and colleges. I was also interested to hear of proposals to work with universities in Greater Manchester to develop high-tech products using new and potentially transformative materials like graphene.

I was also pleased Ged was able to briefly meet with David Morris MP, UK National Space Champion. David has promised to visit Leigh to meet with Ged and discuss how these proposals can be developed further given the importance of new materials like graphene will be to the increasingly important UK space industry, and recognises how such new industries could be used to regenerate former coalfield communities such as Leigh, bringing highly paid new jobs to the area.

I believe local investment in future industries like these will play a major role in the regeneration of our community in the years to come.