Two hundred years ago the Cutlers’ Feast lasted for three days, now it is confined to a single evening - but it is still the most important business dinner north of London.
That’s the claim of the Cutlers’ Company in Sheffield ahead of the 379th edition, which will be attended by politicians and representatives from industry, the civil service, the military, City of London livery companies and freemen of the Company of Cutlers.
It may be steeped in tradition, but the Company sees it as an opportunity to showcase the region as a centre for high value, modern manufacturing. It includes visits the following day to manufacturing businesses and the Advanced Manufacturing Park.
The theme this year will be ‘unleashing Sheffield City Region as part of the Northern Powerhouse’.
Master Cutler David Grey said: “We need to rebalance our economy towards manufacturing. We need high grade saleable products and businesses must be innovative and take risks, but we also need government to help by creating the environment to grow manufacturing.
“Essentially, this means that we need to devolve decision making to unleash the capabilities of Sheffield and cities which are currently restrained by the requirement for everything to pass through Whitehall.
“We now have a new government and we seem likely to have a degree of certainty for the next five years. This looked unlikely only a few weeks ago but we need to take advantage of this now. We need to be bold and to trust the regions in order to unleash the latent capability in many areas outside the capital. This in turn should create wealth which is the best way for us to move ahead in the current situation in order to provide the services that we all need, whilst paying down our national debt.”
Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens UK, is the principal guest. Senior Warden, Craig McKay, CEO of Evenort, will deliver the key note address.
He will say that while manufacturing is healthy, we need a business-friendly government and firms prepared to take a chance.