Foreign Secretary and Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss visited a hi-tech Huddersfield firm with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace this week.

Ms Truss – favourite to become the UK’s next Prime Minister in a two-way fight with former Chancellor Rishi Sunak – toured aerospace and defence company Reliance Precision Ltd in Lepton and presented apprentices with graduation certificates.

Ms Truss and Mr Wallace met with some of the firm’s senior leadership team including non-executive director James Selka, managing director Steve Woollven and Andy Butt, business manager for aerospace defence and space, who provided an overview of the company’s work.

Mr Butt said: “As a high-tech SME based in the North of England, we are proud to showcase our capabilities in the manufacture of high-reliability components and sub-assemblies for critical applications like aerospace, defence and space.

“Exports make up a substantial part of our business with 90% of our aerospace defence and space work being directly or indirectly exported. This visit reinforces the importance and benefits that defence companies and SMEs provide.”

The ministers were taken on a tour of the site to view Reliance’s state-of-the-art facilities. Their visit coincided with the completion of a new cleanroom for space mechanism assembly.

The new facility reflects the substantial investment the company has made in the space industry and will allow it to continue to grow in this area.

The tour concluded with a visit to Reliance’s apprentice training facility where Ms Truss and Mr Wallace presented the current fourth year apprentices with their graduation certificates.

Mr Selka added: “The visit was a brilliant opportunity for us to showcase our Huddersfield site. We have many years’ experience supplying mission-critical components and assemblies into a diverse range of industries – from aerospace defence and space to analytical and medical instruments.

“Our highly knowledgeable workforce provide solutions to the problems our customers face and our long-running apprenticeship scheme ensures that we have the next generation of skilled precision engineers lined up to take Reliance into the future.”