MERVYN King, the Governor of the Bank of England, visited the Wellington headquarters of cosmetics firm Swallowfield last week.

The Governor discussed the company's business prospects and the overall economic picture with Swallowfield's Chief Executive, Ian Mackinnon.

The Bank of England's network of 12 agencies hears from around 8,000 business contacts every year, representing the economic profile of their part of the United Kingdom.

The agents analyse the confidential information that contacts provide them and report their assessment to the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) each month to help build a picture of overall business conditions.

The bank's agents also organise regular visits to their regions so MPC members can hear first hand about economic conditions and the Governor's visit to Devon and Somerset was one of those visits.

Last year Swallowfield increased its revenues by 9.6% and the company is continuing to build on this success after securing a contract with a Dutch retailer.

Swallowfield, which has operations in the Czech Republic, France and China, is also progressing plans to open a US office.

The company provides a complete development and manufacturing service to leading manufacturers and retailers of cosmetics, personal care and household goods.