Coca-Cola is a big international company, but in Outwood it is also very much a local firm.
If you buy a can of Coke anywhere across Wakefield and the north of England, the chances are it’s been manufactured using water from East Ardsley reservoir.
The company has a proud history of manufacturing and distributing from its site on Junction 41.
This year it’s the 25th anniversary of the Outwood plant. On a tour with local staff and Coke’s global CEO, we saw the company’s latest £30m new state-of-the-art warehousing facility for ourselves.
The staff I spoke to are proud of the company’s commitment to manufacturing in the area. Over the past five years Coke has invested £100m in Outwood.
It’s just the kind of committed manufacturing production and investment we need more of if we are to generate more good local jobs.
Because with times still tough for many local families and pensioners, getting more investment into our local economy from big companies like Coke, as well as from successful small businesses, is vital.
Because only by securing more business investment, with backing from government, can we tackle the cost of living crisis and secure a recovery for everyone, not just a few.
Wakefield Hospice does such amazing work for people in our area. And I’m always keen to support them however I can.
A few years back they persuaded me to abseil down Wakefield Cathedral to raise money – one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done.
A few weeks back they got in touch to ask for help with some fundraising and I tentatively asked how I could help.
Regular readers may recall that I took up running a few years back to the surprise of many, not least my wife Yvette.
So on Sunday morning I joined thousands of local runners, as well as members of my office team, in my running shoes. Team Ed Balls raised over £1,000 for the hospice. I also managed to complete the race in just under an hour.
This bodes well for this weekend when my trainers will have another outing, this time for the London Marathon. I’m determined to better my time from the last two years and get round the 26 mile route in under five hours. This weekend I’m running for the disabled children’s charity Whizz-Kidz and Action for Stammering Children.
To support please visit my fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/teams/edballs2014 or contact my office on 0113 253 9466.