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How a Leeds festival aims to change perceptions of manufacturing

BUILDING SUCCESS: Chris Black heads a jukebox business which has been in Leeds for 40 years.
BUILDING SUCCESS: Chris Black heads a jukebox business which has been in Leeds for 40 years.
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Manufacturers from across Leeds are set to open their doors to young people in order to help change perceptions of the industry during a month-long festival.

Leeds Manufacturing Festival will see businesses of all sizes taking part in the event, throughout October, which is being run by the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance.

Victoria Hopkins, from Hopkins Catering in Leeds, one of the people behind the initiative, said: “Leeds Manufacturing Festival will be a great opportunity for businesses to open their doors and show young people the range of roles and activities in the industry.

“This is a chance for Leeds to showcase this vibrant modern sector by showing what goes on behind the scenes and getting people in the industry to share their stories.”

Leeds is the third largest manufacturing centre in the country by local authority area, with around 1,800 SME manufacturers.

It is hoped that the Leeds Manufacturing Festival will become an annual event which will help change perceptions about the sector.

Ms Hopkins added: “We know not every business will be able to host a school visit, but we’d like to invite smaller firms to volunteer some of their time to go into schools and speak to students. Manufacturing has changed hugely over the last two decades, this sector in no longer all about getting your hands dirty and doing shift work for very little money. Indeed, a lot of manufacturing is at the forefront of how our world is developing and careers can be very exciting and rewarding.”