'THE RATE RISE AND STRONG POUND ARE COSTING JOBS HERE IN THE NORTH- EAST'

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The Independent Online
Brian Phillips, of Charles W Taylor iron foundry

BRIAN PHILLIPS (left) was more than frustrated yesterday at news of another interest rate rise.

He runs Charles W Taylor, a 110-year-old family-owned iron foundry in South Shields, and the strength of the pound is gnawing away at his competitiveness in the export markets which make up 80 per cent of his business. Like many manufacturers, his company has survived by focusing on niche markets (it produces castings for industrial gas turbines) and laying employees off. His output is greater today with 93 workers than it was with 118, he says, but the strong pound and weak euro are giving his German and Dutch rivals an unwelcome "leg up".

Ian Herbert

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