‘This was a chance to see the innovative work being done’ – Reaction to Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron’s visit to Melbourn Science Park

PUBLISHED: 11:55 04 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:44 05 May 2017

Lib Dem candidate Susan van de Ven, party leader Tim Farron and Hans Hoppe from TTP at Melbourn Science Park. Picture: Alan Millard

Lib Dem candidate Susan van de Ven, party leader Tim Farron and Hans Hoppe from TTP at Melbourn Science Park. Picture: Alan Millard


The team at a Melbourn science and technology firm were pleased to show the leader of the Liberal Democrats their ‘cutting edge’ facilities as he visited the village on the campaign trail last week.

Susan van de Ven and Tim Farron. Picture: Alan MillardSusan van de Ven and Tim Farron. Picture: Alan Millard

Tim Farron was joined by the Lib Dem’s South Cambs parliamentary candidate Susan van de Ven, district councillor Aidan Van de Weyer and Cambs and Peterborough mayoral candidate Rod Cantrill for a visit to The Technology Partnership on Melbourn Science Park.

TTP’s Sam Zacherino said: “The visit went well. Tim Farron et al met with principal consultant Hans Hoppe, Tom Nash and James McCrone to discuss what TTP does and the types of people we recruit.

“We talked about how we recruit the brightest and the best technical experts who also have an innate curiosity and commercial awareness to develop products and commercial applications for our technologies.

“He was very interested in hearing about one of spin out companies, TTP Ventus, and also visited one of our new labs which we’ve invested in to drive cutting edge technologies for our clients.”

Susan van de Ven and Aidan Van de Weyer. Picture: Alan MillardSusan van de Ven and Aidan Van de Weyer. Picture: Alan Millard

Ms Zacherino also said that Brexit hadn’t affected the firm.

Melbourn county councillor Susan van de Ven, who is also standing for Cambs’ new Melbourn and Bassingbourn division, said: “It was entirely appropriate that Melbourn Science Park figured so prominently in Mr Farron’s visit to South Cambridgeshire.

“The TTP Group epitomises a world-class business deeply rooted in the community, with a workforce that is at the same time local and international.

“Our German host at TTP exemplifies the European South Cambs local – Mr Hoppe has worked in the UK for decades, lives within cycling distance of Melbourn, and has a mixed British-European family.

“Seamless integration with our European neighbours has helped to create and sustain the countless high-tech businesses that characterise the South Cambridgeshire economy, but also through connections built up through family life, the kind of society we enjoy.

“Accompanying Mr Farron through the villages, I saw a person who is inquisitive, open-minded and has a clear sense of direction.”

Councillor Van de Weyer, who represents Orwell and Barrington, said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome Tim Farron and was a chance for him to see the innovative work being done in Melbourn.

“This is a time of terrible uncertainty for the many high-tech research and design firms in our region. They are very international in outlook, with the EU being a huge export market.

“They rely on close links with other institutions and firms within the EU. And a large part of the skilled workforce comes from EU countries. This shows just how integrated we are with the EU on so many levels.

“The Government is entering the negotiations with unrealistic expectations about how simple it will be to get an agreement on residency rights, both for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in other EU countries.

“The easy bit would be to announce the principle that EU citizens currently working or studying here can stay, which would reassure so many of our residents. But Theresa May will not even do that, instead putting everything into the mix for debate.”

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