A DIRECTOR of a Brighouse firm has urged Yorkshire manufacturers to continue investing in new products.
Tony Hammersley, manufacturing director of air conditioning firm Marstair, said innovation was the only way for UK firms to remain competitive in world markets.
He was speaking after becoming regional president of the Engineering Employers' Federation.
Mr Hammersley, who lives at Skelmanthorpe, said: "I am delighted to have taken on this role at a critical time for manufacturers and organisations representing them.
"This year should be a reasonable one for manufacturers. Business is picking up and the economy at home is stable.
"However, there are clouds on the horizon. Energy costs are a big worry for all of us and the flow of new legislation shows no signs of stopping.
"Government needs to recognise that the best thing it can do is to hold fire - not to do anything that further increases costs - and leave us to get on with the job of creating wealth."
Mr Hammersley will hold the presidency until December next year.
During his tenure he hopes to increase the number of federation members.
Mr Hammersley joined Marstair's forerunner company, IMI Air Conditioning, in 1988, having worked for IMI in South Wales and the Midlands.
He joined IMI after graduating in electrical engineering at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology.
Mr Hammersley led the management buy-in of IMI Air Conditioning in October, 2003, to form Marstair.
Since then, the company has introduced new products, including ones to improve energy efficiency in homes and business premises.
The company distributes products across the UK and exports to more than 30 countries, including Spain, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.