Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire; Sean Coyle, chief executive of the Keystone Group; Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Justice; John Duffin, sales director for the Keystone Group and Derrick McFarland, managing director of the Keystone Group UK.

Government Minister praises Keystone Group as he opens new HQ

Published:  08 May, 2013

The Keystone Group has been praised for its drive, ambition and innovation on the opening of its new UK headquarters.

Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Justice, said the country needed more companies like the Keystone Group, which has created over 20 new jobs at the site and has plans underway for further development.

Mr Grayling officially opened the Keystone Group’s new HQ in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, during a visit last month (25 Apr). The site has already significantly expanded sales, design and administration operations, taking the number of people employed at the site up to 130.

It is the second of a three-phase site development programme in Swadlincote, the third phase of which is already underway and will eventually enable the site to more than double its manufacturing capability.

Speaking to around 80 invited guests, Mr Grayling said: “I love it that not only are we here to open a new facility, but that the ground has already been broken on a new one. That is the kind of ambition we need in our business community. There aren’t enough businesses like you, and the more we have, the better.

“I come here today as the Minister responsible for justice, but this is all close to my heart. Before my current role, I was the Employment Minister, and when you are appearing on TV every week talking about unemployment figures, businesses that are going from strength to strength – that are creating jobs and opportunities after having gone through tremendously difficult times – are enormously welcome.”

My Grayling also defended the Government’s record on kick-starting the housebuilding industry following a plea by Keystone’s chief executive, Sean Coyle.

Mr Coyle said: “Just recently, the Government announced a clever idea to underwrite some of the cost of people’s mortgages and our industry is very anxious that this will work. A lot of the responsibility for the current state of the industry rests with banks, who have given no indication that they are ready to come back to the marketplace and lend.

“I would like to ask the Government who is going to come up with an effective solution to encourage and enable banks to lend again? Because until they do, we will not be able to build more houses and our economy will not be able to enjoy the many employment and financial benefits that housebuilding brings.”

Mr Grayling responded: “Believe me, when we sit in cabinet meetings and talk about housebuilding you can rest assured that the Prime Minister is driven and determined to address the issue that you refer to. We have tried a number of ways to get the housing market moving again and I hope that the latest initiative that we announced in the Budget, and that you refer to, will work.

“We are dealing with a situation with banks who have gone through difficult times – some of it self-inflicted – and they also have businesses to rebuild. We need to cajole and push and encourage them to go back out there and lend to people who are good lending risks. It is something that we talk about and that will continue.”

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