Sheffield Forgemasters has been named the first winner of the Made in Sheffield Award.
Forgemasters was hailed as being synonymous with Sheffield, a “true champion of the region,” an inspiration to other UK companies and a leader in the field of British and global manufacturing.
Judges said Forgemasters was the company that had contributed most to maintaining the national and international renown of the Made in Sheffield Brand.
Firth Rixson, the world-leading supplier of seamless rolled rings, forgings and specialty metals to the aerospace and related markets, picked up two awards.
The firm won the Investment in People Award, while electrician Luke Shaw was named Apprentice of the Year.
Mr Shaw was hailed as “an outstanding apprentice who has become a real ambassador for the company too,” while judges said Firth Rixson had had demonstrated how training could play an integral part in a company’s success after setting up its own academy and changing its wider working practices.
The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing won the Manufacturer Support Award, while William Beckett Plastics won the Exporter of the Year Award after export sales grew by more than 30 per cent, driven strongly by US and German markets.
AESSEAL was named winner of the Innovation Award, with judges describing the Rotherham mechanical seal manufacturer as a business where innovation ran throughout the company and was being exported across the world.
Guest speaker at the awards ceremony in the Cutlers’ Hall was Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam Liberal Democrat MP Nick Clegg.
Mr Clegg told the audience that he was “convinced with every fibre in my being” that manufacturing would be at the forefront of a new model of sustainable growth.
Stressing the importance of the part Sheffield manufacturers were playing in the UK’s economic recovery, Mr Clegg said: “The hopes of the whole country are genuinely on what you can achieve. Most of the hard work needs to be done by you. You are the innovators, you are the creators and you are the designers.”