Priti Patel MP visits Witham engineering company that played vital role in supporting the food industry during lockdown
The Witham MP, Priti Patel has today (21st August 2020) made a visit to local firm MGJ Engineering, Moss Road, Witham to meet the owner and staff, Mick Johnson, and team. Priti was given a short tour of the premises followed by a briefing about their firm’s contribution to overcoming the pandemic crisis and about how they are faring in the post lockdown world.
At the height of the pandemic, MGJ Engineering, who specialise in fabrication, machine maintenance and manufacture of mechanical parts, supported a number of large food processing companies by supplying machine critical spares that could not be obtained from overseas suppliers.
Commenting after her visit Priti said: “I had a very interesting chat with Mick Johnson. I complimented him on his firm’s efforts during the lockdown period. They played a vital role in supporting food and drink manufacturers during the peak pandemic period. They also made Perspex screens for several factories, which helped to keep them operational.
“I was also interested in their perspective on how things are going since the lockdown ended. Times are still very tough but I am convinced that the overall strength of the economy, coupled with the hard work of small firms like MGJ Engineering, we will get there in the end.”
Mick Johnson, owner of MGJ Engineering said: “At the beginning of the pandemic we were greatly affected by the sudden loss of work. However, this was only for a short period and, with the help of the furlough grant, we were able to keep all our staff employed. We have experienced a large reduction in income but with contracts from food manufacturers and a change in their needs we have been able to withstand the impact of the pandemic, so far.
“We are grateful that Priti took time out of her busy schedule to visit our premises to hear our story and about the tough challenges we face in the engineering sector, post lockdown. It is very important that central Government gets to hear about what life is like out here on the front line!”