A Visit to Downing Street

18th Jun 2017

Ian Calder-Potts, director and founder of Calder, visited the London Stock Exchange and No. 10 Downing Street as part of a reception for those companies recognised in the LSEG report, 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain. The following is Ian’s personal account of the day.

“What a privilege, not only to be included in the 2017 edition of ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ for the third time, but additionally to be invited to visit the great London Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, followed by a reception at No. 10 Downing Street, all in one morning.

The day started at 07:30 when a powerful group of inspirational speakers lined up to talk to the 150 assembled guests. The group, which included Xavier Rolet KBE, CEO London Stock Exchange Group, The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Industry, all brought home to me the extraordinarily dynamic and powerful nature of Britain’s vibrant SME ‘community.’

  • Of the 1000 companies selected, the average growth for the financial year was 70%.
  • Of all the SME’s in Europe, more than 1/5 are in the UK.
  • SMEs are the lifeblood of the British economy; creating up to 2/3 of all new jobs, they account for 60% of all private sector employment and 47% of all private sector turnover in the UK.
  • 2016 created 650,000 start-up firms in the UK.

My personal highlight of the day was entering the most recognised door in the world, 10 Downing Street, then slowly making my way upstairs to the main reception rooms whilst admiring the portrait of every great (and some not so great) Prime Minister since the inception of our precious and ancient democracy, a rare privilege indeed. Thank you, Prime Minister.

At No. 10 we enjoyed an inspirational talk from the impressive Gareth Davies, Director General for Business and Science.

My sincere thanks to those who made this once in a lifetime visit to the London Stock Exchange and No. 10 Downing Street a reality.

  • Our customers who have loyally backed Calder over the years.
  • Our great suppliers who have delivered good quality products and services on time.
  • And the great Calder team of the last 36 years who have safely conceived, engineered, designed, marketed, sold, built, manufactured, purchased, tested, quality managed, documented, ensured compliance, commissioned, serviced (far from home in remote corners of the world), managed, fetched, delivered and all the myriad of essential functions required in the day-to-day operations of a great company.

After the excitement of the morning at LSEG and Downing Street, I walked to meet with my wife Jilly on the terrace of Somerset House overlooking the Thames. Over a light lunch and cold beer in the warm London sunshine we reminisced about our 36 years since arriving to live in this fabulous country and the many wonderful people we have had the honour and privilege of meeting and working with.

There are undoubtedly serious challenges our country, people and companies face in the coming months and years. I am convinced that common sense and the indomitable British spirit will prevail as this great country continues on the highway of democracy and fairness for all whilst maintaining our precious sovereignty as the adventure of Brexit begins.”

Calder will remain in the vanguard of SME’s delivering our High Pressure Pump Packages to our customers around the world.