Skip to main content
Top of the Page
Press Release

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps highlights skills and innovation in rail industry, on RIA Fellowship visit to manufacturer Silver Fox

24 June 2022

  • Shapps unveiled a specialist printing press at Silver Fox, a leading manufacturer and the UK’s first carbon negative producer of cable and equipment labels, based in Welwyn Garden City
  • Visit was part of the Railway Industry Association’s Rail Fellowship Programme, which provides politicians with a hands-on experience in the rail sector
  • With this visit, Grant Shapps has become the Lead Fellow of the 2022 RIA Rail Fellowship.
On Friday 24 June, the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps was on site at manufacturer Silver Fox, highlighting the work of the railway supply chain in innovating and developing the valuable skills of their workforce. 

During the visit, Shapps met with employees from Silver Fox and the Railway Industry Association (RIA), and was given a tour of the site. He also unveiled a new specialist printing press, among a range of other machines, at Silver Fox’s production site in Welwyn Garden City. 

Silver Fox produces labels used by many sections of the rail industry, including Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL). It is also the only carbon negative manufacturer in its sector, promoting sustainable production in line with the Government’s net-zero ambitions.

The visit was part of RIA’s Rail Fellowship programme, which matches politicians to railway sites relevant to them and gives them a hands-on experience of what goes on in the sector day-to-day. 
Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, said: “I enjoyed my day on site at Silver Fox, which is a shining example of innovation and excellence in the railway industry. Their innovation in cable labelling is winning business on transport projects in markets such as North America, India and Vietnam, and also providing job opportunities in my constituency of Welwyn Hatfield. Their story shows the potential for high-quality UK manufacturers in sectors such as rail.

“I would like to thank the Railway Industry Association for organising the visit, and for all the work of their Rail Fellowship Programme in highlighting the importance of the rail supply chain to politicians."

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of at the Railway Industry Association, said: Suppliers of all shapes and sizes play an integral role in the railways. These businesses continue to support skilled jobs and provide economic opportunity and growth to communities right around the UK. 
“RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme aims to highlight this work, whether that is in train manufacturing or areas such as cabling. And so we were delighted to welcome the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on the Programme, and would like to say thank you to Silver Fox for hosting us.”

Silver Fox’s Managing Director Nick Michaelson, stated: “It was fantastic to welcome our local MP Grant Shapps to visit our site in Welwyn Garden City, and to showcase our facilities. These new machines, allied to our increasingly knowledgeable and skilful local workforce, will further help us grow our presence in our niche market of labelling solutions – as well as cement our place as the UK’s only carbon-negative manufacturer of cable labels,”

“The significant investments – in both plant and people - we’ve made over the last few years have greatly expanded our production capacity, bringing benefits not just to Silver Fox, but also to the whole engineering industry, offering users of Silver Fox labelling solutions unique time-saving options which, for a time-critical project, can literally turn time into profit.”
The new printing press, made by Nilpeter, which measures over 10 metres length, is uniquely configured to meet the growing needs of an expanding market and an expanding product range. It will allow Silver Fox to address inquires with even more rapidity and help to make them even more competitive across the globe - with everything made in-house. With increasing demand both in the UK and Internationally, Silver Fox will now support its growing customer base across the globe, ensuring increased sales and staffing to drive this growth.
Notes to Editors
1. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the trade association for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. It has over 300 companies in membership, in a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (over 60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry. 
By taking part, Bob will become a member of the RIA Rail Fellowship, Class of 2022, and will be invited to an award ceremony in Parliament to celebrate his support for the local rail sector.
2. About Silver Fox: Silver Fox ( manufactures and supplies cable, wire, and pipe labels for use in a range of industrial sectors around the world including, among others, Rail, Data, Power, Construction, Renewable Energy, Oil & Gas. Founded in 1977, Silver Fox manufactures all its products in the UK and ships them globally, either directly or via an ever-growing network of distributors. Silver Fox tests its labels at recognised independent UKAS certified test laboratories in compliance with MIL and other standards. Additionally, Silver Fox is ISO 9001:2008 registered. Silver Fox’s commitment to global business was recognised in 2005 by the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade. Contact: Millie Sherwood, +44 (0) 1707 37 37 27 / [email protected]
Back to Top