Greg met up with the Chief Executive of Visit Kent, Deirdre Wells, at Bewl Water today to mark the start of the Kent Big Weekend and discuss the vital role tourism plays in the local economy.
The event, aimed at boosting tourism throughout the county, sees thousands of tickets to local attractions handed out to Kent's residents.
During his visit to Bewl, Greg was shown around the reservoir and The Boat House Bistro by Operations Director at the site Phil Daley who discussed future plans, including the Aqua Park which is set to open next month.
Greg said: "It was a great pleasure meeting Deirdre and Phil at Bewl Water to discuss the fantastic work Visit Kent undertake to promote tourism throughout the county.
"Bewl provided an ideal location for our meeting, having seen significant investment in recent years, it has proven to be one of the most popular visitor attractions in West Kent.
"Tourism contributes a significant amount to the local economy, which is why I am so supportive of the Kent Big Weekend and English Tourism Week."
Greg has praised the 'entrepreneurial spirit' of Tunbridge Wells businesses following a visit to two outstandingly successful family run firms.
He was speaking after touring the neighbouring North Farm companies ID&C and Childrensalon – both of which have seen rapid growth in recent years.
ID&C, which designs identification writsbands for music festivals, has grown from a kitchen table project established in 1995, to an international exporter which ships to over 90 countries from its Kingstanding Way headquarters and its secondary office in Florida.
Meanwhile, Childrensalon started life as a small bricks and mortar shop in Tunbridge Wells to a global leader in children's fashion, with customers in 160 countries and a turnover of £100m last year.
Greg said: "I am grateful to both ID&C and Childrensalon for inviting me to come and tour their companies and speak to their staff. The success of these two family run firms is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of Tunbridge Wells business and I will use their feedback to help me as Business Secretary find more ways to help other companies emulate their success."
Urgent steps must be taken to prevent the alarming increase in the number of accidents taking place at the central crossroads in Horsmonden, Greg has said.
Greg met with Mike Whiting, the Cabinet Member for Highways at KCC, alongside Stuart Davis and Colin Russell of the parish council, to discuss what measures could be implemented to make the junction between the B2162, Goudhurst Road and Benchley Road safer.
Greg said: "In recent years it has become apparent that the crossroads at the heart of Horsmonden are putting drivers lives at risk and doing nothing is not an option. This is why I met with Mike Whiting in the village so that he could assess the situation for himself and help come up with solutions to make the junction safer."
Sixth formers from Bennett quizzed Greg on the government's environmental strategy at a productive meeting arranged by the school's Environment Prefects. Topics covered included nuclear power, renewable energy and climate change.
He later observed the school's Enterprise Advisor Network event, which saw representatives of local businesses converse with pupils about what their company does, whilst getting their own feedback on what business can do to appeal more to their age group.
Greg said: "My visit to Bennett Memorial school has been very enlightening and it was my pleasure to hear the sixth form talk with such passion about the very pressing environmental issues we all face. It was also a pleasure to see local firms actively engage with the young people of Tunbridge Wells about the world of business whilst actively seeking their views."
With an increasing number of individuals opting to take up apprenticeships, Greg took the opportunity to mark National Apprenticeship Week by hosting a round table event at the Salomons Estate. The event was attended by around a dozen apprentices, who spoke to Greg about their experiences and shared insight into how apprenticeship programmes work and can be improved.
Greg said: "I am delighted to have met such enthusiastic individuals during the round table event and have learned a great deal about what it means to be an apprentice in Britain today. The fact that many apprenticeships are now recognised as being on par with a university degree is a welcome indication of the growing choice in further education available to everyone."
In addition to meetings on mental health, improving cycling infrastructure and a surgery, Greg met today with students at Beechwood Sacred Heart School, who voted for doughnuts at breaktime.
After discussing life as an MP, chatting about local issues and explaining the workings of the House of Commons, Greg led pupils in staging a lively debate on the motion, 'This House believes in doughnuts at breaktime.'
A 'division' complete with 'tellers' (shown above with Greg), followed impassioned speeches from the girls and boys, delivering a resounding victory in favour of introducing the sweet treat, which was duly promised by the school's Headteacher – for one day only.
"I've always believed it's incredibly important that young people feel inspired by politics and are eager to participate in debates about issues, be they big or small, local or national. We enjoyed an engaging debate at Beechwood and saw a result which, although perhaps not to the satisfaction of all the teachers, was reached after rigorous discussion and a free and fair vote."
Greg met this morning with a number of local businesses for a lively discussion over breakfast – organised by the Federation of Small Businesses. Greg said:
"Local businesses are a vital part of our economy in Tunbridge Wells, so it's always useful to hea from them what the issues are locally and nationally."
After suffering a significant stroke at the age of 44, Lisa Beaumont was determined to help people in the same situation. She set up a Tunbridge wells support group under the auspices of Different Strokes, a national charity that aims to help younger stroke survivors through active peer support and independent recovery.
Greg joined some of the members of the group at one of their regular meetings.
After the meeting, Greg commented:
"When someone suffers a devastating illness such as stroke, being able to talk to other people who have gone through a similar experience can be incredibly helpful. The support group that Lisa Beaumont has set up is a great example of this. Having suffered a significant stroke herself, I am really impressed by her determination to help others in the same situation."
For more information on the Different Strokes group email: email@example.com
Greg was delighted to join representatives from 37 local churches at an event exploring what is being done at a local, national and international level to tackle climate change.
This morning Greg visited one of the UK's largest fruit growers, Adrian Scripps. The farm is a major local employer, global exporter and horticultural innovator with crops chiefly comprising apples, pears and blackcurrants.
Greg is pictured with Adrian Scripps' Managing Director, James Simpson, and team in front of one of the farm's robots, made by innovative Kent firm, Brillopak.
"I am particularly proud to have Adrian Scripps in my constituency producing fine Kentish fruit. Their operation shows how state-of-the-art technology is transforming modern day horticulture and agriculture, with Adrian Scripps being a beacon of exellence."
Greg met up with the Chief Executive of Visit Kent, Deirdre Wells, at Bewl Water today to mark the...
Greg has praised the 'entrepreneurial spirit' of Tunbridge Wells businesses following a visit to...
Urgent steps must be taken to prevent the alarming increase in the number of accidents taking place...
Sixth formers from Bennett quizzed Greg on the government's environmental strategy at a productive...