The country depends on Sheffield’s strength in manufacturing - and a host of other areas, the Business Secretary said in his speech at the Cutlers’ Feast in Sheffield.
“The case for Sheffield is the case for Britain,” was the message Greg Clark said he would take back to London.
He also revealed that, “when the Company of Cutlers speaks, governments listen.”
Mr Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was speaking at the 381st Cutlers’ Feast.
He added: “When I accepted the Master Cutler’s invitation to this feast I noticed that last year you also had the Secretary of State for Business.
“By all accounts last year there was an appropriately sharp edge to the proceedings.
“You made it very clear that we as a country should be following together an explicit industrial strategy.
“All I can say is that when the Company of Cutlers speaks, governments listen, because within weeks of that event one of the first acts of the new government was to put the question beyond doubt – with a new department created around the very task.”
He also said he would ‘put the case’ of Sheffield manufacturers on his return to London.
He added: “The message I will be taking back is exactly as I’ve set out this evening. Because the case for Sheffield is the case for Britain.
“In Sheffield – this magnificent city of manufacturing, of learning, of innovation, of science, of culture and of beauty, of quality of life, of diversity, of history and of fellowship – your strengths are the strengths that the future success of our country depends on.
“In the past, London looked to our great cities and our industries for lessons the whole country could learn.”
The Business Secretary was principal speaker at the white tie dinner at the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield - and hailed the event’s importance.
“The Star described the Cutlers’ Feast as ‘one of the most important business dinners in the North’, But I’m afraid I have to disagree.
“The truth is it is one of the most important business dinners in the whole country.
“Because so many of our achievements as a country – economic, financial, scientific, cultural and international – are founded on the prosperity that comes from manufacturing industry, of which this dinner is the country’s pre-eminent celebration.
“The Cutlers’ Feast is something Sheffield can be proud of. To sustain an institution over the centuries requires a sense of shared endeavour – and a willingness to move with the times.”