BUSINESS minister Lord Henley has paid Northwich a visit ahead of Small Business Saturday.

The minister, from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, dropped in to businesses in the town centre to celebrate their contribution to the ‘backbone of the UK’s economy’.

During his visit on Thursday, November 22, Lord Henley said: “I am delighted to be here in Northwich today ahead of Small Business Saturday.

“There are nearly six million small businesses across the UK, like those in Northwich, and they are at the heart of our local communities.

“Since launching our modern Industrial Strategy last year, we are doing more to support small businesses, helping ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”

The tour, led by Northwich Town Council and the Northwich Business Improvement District, took in Hayhurst Quay, High Street, Witton Street and Barons Quay.

Lord Henley, who sits in the House of Lords, visited Abda’s Café, Crafty Stitches, The Salty Dog, Northwich Art Shop, Curtain Magic and John Griffiths Fruit Shop during his afternoon in Northwich, meeting owners and staff.

Northwich was recently highly commended in the Great British High Street 'Rising Star' award.

He also visited the Forum of Private Business (FPB) in Knutsford to discuss the impact of regulation and late payments with local small-business owners.