THE Tory MEP for Essex has praised a growing Canvey business for its importance on the international stage.

Conservative Member of the European Parliament Vicky Ford joined Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris and Canvey councillor Ray Howard for a visit to Blyth Workcats on Charfleets Industrial Estate last week.

Blyth Workcats designs and builds customised boats for charter angling, diving, commercial fishing, passenger carrying, crew transfer or survey work to companies all over the world.

The visit gave the company the chance to speak to the political heavyweight about the barriers it faces as a business and what changes could be made to help it grow.

Mrs Ford said “It's great to see a local business exporting all over the world. We have already unlocked some new funding to help exporters, but this needs to work for specialist companies like Blyth Workcats too.

“Building boats to order can take up to six months.

Rebecca and I will be taking this issue up with those responsible for trade finance.”

Top on their agenda was to improve access to export credit facilities and more open information on public procurement procedures and contracts.

Mrs Harris said: "This is a historic local company with an international brand and we are very proud it is still manufacturing catamarans in our borough.

“One of the reasons why Castle Point is such a good place to have a business is because as a community we have a very good, hard-grafting work ethic. We do however need to make sure local colleges keep on tailoring the skills they offer to match the demands of local businesses like these. “ Mr Howard added: “Canvey invented the catamaran.

This company has world-wide acknowledgement and I think this is a reflection of the way Canvey should be recognised for its contribution to the economy.

“I am really really proud to think Mrs Ford can see the part we play in Europe.”