AN offshore windfarm and military tailors invited a councillor to get a behind-the-scenes tour of their businesses for the day.

Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for economic development, visited Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, and Samuel Brothers’ workshops in Harwich, as part of a tour of the county’s successful businesses.

Galloper is an offshore wind farm off the Essex coast where turbines generate enough electricity to power 38,000 homes.

The windfarm has a design life of 25 years.

By contrast, Samuel Brothers is an 190-year-old company and holder of a Royal Warrant using highly-skilled and experienced staff hand-making and tailoring high quality garments.

Samuel Brothers’ managing director Lee Dawson said: “It was a great honour to receive a visit from councillor Ball, during which we discussed and shared our perspective on a number of topics including grant funding for SMEs, apprenticeships, routes to market, remaining competitive and local recruiting amongst others.

“It was good to share challenges that most business owners face and we think this year will be particularly tough financially for us with the impact on the increase of the minimum wage - and its consequential price hikes - rates and wool prices with the severe drought in Australia.

“For us, maintaining a local workforce is important as are our UK supply lines.”

Mr Dawson added: “I am grateful for the work Invest Essex has undertaken for our business; they have been superb in assisting through managing growth, which is a challenge in itself.”

David Rooke, location services director at Invest Essex, said the day spent by Mr Ball in Harwich provided a perfect example of the variety and quality of businesses in the county.

He said: “Visiting both Samuel Brothers and the Innogy Group’s Galloper Wind Farm facilities - both located within just a few hundred yards of each other - gave real insight into the diversity of business not only in Harwich but Essex in general.”

Mr Rooke added: “These two companies highlight the importance and benefits of a mixed economy and both benefit from support from Invest Essex and many others in positively contributing to the growth of the UK economy.”