Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to leading bed manufacturer Silentnight last Friday (16th May) during a visit to the company's Barnoldswick headquarters and factory as part of a tour of UK manufacturing success stories.
Mr Cameron praised the work that Silentnight is doing, describing the manufacturer as a "great business", and emphasised its investment in UK manufacture, product innovation and its successful apprenticeship scheme.
Showcasing the 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.
A visit to Silentnight’s showroom then gave the Prime Minister the opportunity to try out a bed from Silentnight’s new Geltex Collection, before he was welcomed to the factory floor by a 200-strong crowd of Silentnight employees to host a PM Direct question and answer session, which covered a range of topics, from pensions and international aid to 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.
"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"
The visit comes just weeks after Silentnight reported 11% rise in sales, breaking the £100m sales barrier and outstripping performance of the total market, which stood at around 2%.
Steve Freeman, Silentnight's MD, says: “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.”
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.