The team at Bristol HQ’d digital agency e3 made the most of a visit by Ed Balls yesterday afternoon. On a tour of some of the region’s business success stories he was on a fact finding mission, talking to the team at e3 about the challenges faced by fast growth firms and what they think the Government can do to best support them.

Started in 1997 and counting the Royal Navy, Orange and the National Trust amongst its clients, the agency is led by MD Neil Collard who has grown the business by 20 % year-on-year since he was appointed in 2011.

Amy Vicary, e3 client services director, who met with the Shadow Chancellor said: “It’s not every day we get involved in frontline politics! However, we’re obviously pleased to be recognised in this way and express our views on how local and Central Government can help growing businesses such as ours. And also to play our part in highlighting the fact that there is a wealth of creative talent at agencies outside the capital, working on national, high-profile campaigns.”

Ed Balls MP, Shadow Chancellor, said: "To tackle the cost-of-living crisis our cities and towns need to be effective engines of growth. To achieve this we need stronger local government supported by more effective central government, both working in stronger partnership with the business and education communities.

“e3 at Bristol’s Paintworks provides an excellent example of what can be achieved when entrepreneurial zeal, an understanding of growing industry, in their case digital, and support by local and central Government incentives come together.

“The team at e3 raised a number of questions with me about the impact on small and medium sized business when there is a change of Government. I made it clear, Labour has a firm offer to support our SME’s but we understand our local economies cannot withstand another major upheaval of the local growth infrastructure. There has been too much change in recent years which has hampered growth around the country. Evolution, not revolution, is the right way forward.”