An innovative company based in Wombourne, Wolverhampton, has been recognised for its revolutionary process of ‘stirring’ molten aluminium using an electromagnetic field.


Solios Thermal, a world leader in the design and construction of primary aluminium processing plants,  were acknowledged for their work in the prestigious  “Green & Growth” category of the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards.


Visiting Solios to congratulate them on their achievements, local MEP Anthea McIntyre, said:


“I was hugely impressed by the work of Solios – their team of 35 permanent staff, most of whom are engineers, shows how dynamic and vibrant many small British companies are.  From their base in Wombourne the team demonstrate the ability to take on global competitors and use their innovative approach to win contracts worth many millions of pounds.


“I am delighted to have visited Solios and wish them every success going forward.


“I was especially pleased to meet Managing Director, Stephen Augostine, but sorry to hear about the problem the firm has in finding enough qualified engineers to meet their growing needs.


“Too often I hear the same concern from British businesses – they have innovative products and plenty of demand but simply can’t find enough staff with the right skills to allow them to expand.  It is an issue that I will pursue with Ministers in the UK and in the European Parliament.”

The continuing issue of finding enough workers for the British agricultural and horticultural industries was a topic of major concern at the NFU Annual Conference. Speaking in the Horticultural session, Anthea McIntyre MEP for the West Midlands said,

"Despite considerable efforts on countless occasions, producers and packers simply cannot find enough British workers prepared to work in the fields or pack-houses.

“The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) is a high quality, well managed scheme. Workers are well looked after and pay at least meets the National Minimum Wage. With six month’s work, there is a regular turnover and an impeccable record of people returning to their home country at the end of their contract.

“Without a reliable and willing local workforce, it is no wonder that SAWS is of such importance to our industries.

“The current scheme is due to end shortly and a replacement scheme is essential if British producers are to be able to meet their contracts to supply supermarkets and others going forward.  Without reliable supply the buyers will look elsewhere to meet the needs of their customers – and that inevitably means more imports.

“I am therefore calling on the Immigration Minister, Mark Harper MP, for a follow-on SAWS scheme so that growers and packers can top up their European workforce during the peaks of the season for the particular crops being grown and the growing method being used.

"Experience with SAWS has shown that the UK Border Agency administers the scheme effectively and efficiently and will, I am sure, be well able to deal with a follow-on scheme.”


The Conservatives in Europe have been boosted by the decision of a  second senior UKIP MEP to join them. Marta Andreasen follows UKIP’s former deputy leader, David Campbell Bannerman, in crossing the floor to join the Conservatives.

Welcoming Marta’s decision, West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre said “It is interesting that two senior members of UKIP, individuals who have been at the heart of that Party, have decided that the Conservatives offer the best way to bring about real change in our relationship with the European Union.

“I am sure that Marta’s move, coupled with David Cameron’s explicit commitment to an In/Out  Referendum, will strengthen his hand when he negotiates with our European partners on a fresh future for the EU.

“I know that many people who agree with me and my colleagues that the EU as it is today simply isn’t working in the UK’s best interests have been attracted to UKIP but the fact that their former deputy leader and one of their few high-profile MEPs have rejected UKIP should give pause for further thought.

“And let us not forget that one of the MEPs elected for the West Midlands under their banner has also left them to sit as an Independent – there is something seriously wrong with a party that loses a third of its members in less than four years.”

For the first time in its 56-year history, the EU budget has been cut as a direct result of the stance taken by the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

“Cutting the EU budget by around 3% is a significant step forward and proves that Conservatives in Westminster and Brussels are delivering  for the people of the UK,” said West Midlands MEP, Anthea McIntyre.

“The budget cut of Euro 80 bn equates to around £125 for every person in the EU and was secured despite the demands of the Commission and various other countries who wanted an increase in European spending.

“The cut also proves that Nick Clegg’s  claim that we had ‘absolutely no hope’ of a reduction was simply wrong and that the Conservatives are providing an effective voice for our country.

“I am, of course, disappointed that the total British contribution to the EU will go up, thanks to the reckless way Mr Blair gave away part of our rebate.  Mr Cameron quite rightly refused to give up more of our rebate, though he was under pressure to do so.”


A Birmingham-based company’s success in exporting its coffee-making machines to all five continents has won them national recognition.

Fracino celebrated its  50th anniversary by scooping the Outstanding Export Award from the prestigious EEF Future Manufacturing Awards panel  and  later went on to win the ultimate award, the Winner of Winners.

“I am delighted to congratulate the management and staff of the UK’s only manufacturer of cappuccino and espresso coffee machines on their achievements,” said Birmingham Conservative MEP, Anthea McIntyre.

“It is great news for Fracino and is further proof that UK manufacturers are amongst the best in the world.

“In my role as the Conservative Employment spokesman in Europe, I am particularly keen to highlight the successes of our local businesses and to do whatever I can to help them thrive.”

Fracino was founded in 1963 and their website is: