NORTH Lancashire was labelled ‘the entrepreneurial capital of Britain’ when the chairman of the Conservatives visited a Carnforth business.

Grant Shapps MP spent an hour taking a tour of family-run flooring company, Havwood’s, as part of a wider journey round the UK to see the effects of Wednesday’s Budget.

“I’m following a 1,000 mile tour, post-Budget, to talk to businesses who are creating jobs, to find out what the magic formula is for them, why it’s working,” he said. “And this is an amazing company.”

The minister was shown around the business - which operates offices in Rome, Sydney and Melbourne from its Carnforth headquarters - by operations manager, Anthony Scott, as well as north Lancashire MP, David Morris.

He spent an hour meeting staff in the warehouse, showroom and offices, which were custom-built for the company on the £11m Carnforth Business Park, Kellet Road.

At the end of the tour Mr Shapps hailed north Lancashire.

“It’s almost like the entrepreneurial capital of Britain,” he said. “It has been in the past and I think it’s coming through again and that’s why it’s so great to see some of these businesses expanding.”

The visit was welcomed by Mr Morris, who described his constituency as ‘the jewel in the crown of the North West’.

“It’s been a very successful visit,” he said.

“Grant has come along and seen this company which has literally come out of a designated building site within 12 months.

“I know the company’s been going a very long time, but it’s going friom strength to strength, employing more people, and this is an example of where we should be looking towards the future for this area.”

Mr Shapps also addressed claims he had patronised 'hard-working people' by tweeting a poster celebrating Budget cuts to bingo and beer tax.

The poster said the cuts would 'help hard-working people do more of the things they enjoy'.

“It’s been warmly welcomed by the bingo halls and I imagine warmly welcomed by most of the three million people who play bingo every week, according to the bingo association,” he said.

“I think the rest is a massive diversion - should we say ‘they’, ‘we’, ‘us’? Who cares? It’s not about that, it’s about what we’re doing to get the economy moving.”