Festival will highlight opportunities

Crucial support: Emma Tiernan, of Square 5, and Martin McKervey of Nabarro launch the law firm's headline sponsorship
Crucial support: Emma Tiernan, of Square 5, and Martin McKervey of Nabarro launch the law firm's headline sponsorship
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Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield gets underway with an event for leading figures from the worlds of manufacturing, procurement and investment, organised by the event’s headline sponsors, law firm Nabarro.

The private gathering at Nabarro’s Victoria Quays offices will hear from lan Cumming, Procurement Director for EDF Energy. Alan is leading the procurement for EDF Energy’s Nuclear New Build Programme in the UK, which offers significant opportunities for local manufacturers.

At work: Kevin Parkin, centre, on the shop floor at Davy Markham's Prince of Wales Road factory

At work: Kevin Parkin, centre, on the shop floor at Davy Markham's Prince of Wales Road factory

“I think this region needs to wake up and see the opportunities,” says Martin McKervey, a partner in the Sheffield office of Nabarro, which acts for EDF.

“Too often, the view (from companies) is they don’t know what is happening, the Government hasn’t made its mind up, there are no orders…EDF isn’t waiting about. The challenge for this region is to get into a position to secure the supply opportunities that the nuclear agenda offers.”

Kevin Parkin, from DavyMarkham agrees that civil nuclear power developments offer big opportunities to firms in Sheffield and that significant contracts could soon be being placed.

“Sheffield firms have been doing a lot of preparation, both in terms of quality and getting the appropriate standards and also in terms of becoming second tier sponsors of the new Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

“I think we are in with a very good chance of being offered some work, but we need the support services around us, both in terms of professional advisers and suppliers.”

The Nabarro event will lay the foundations for the Manufacturing Convention, the Festival’s headline event on the following day.

Nabarro will also be hosting an event in association with the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels (YABA), which will be attended by funders and is aimed at anyone looking to grow their manufacturing or engineering business.

Other events include a number of company open days and visits to businesses that include Davy Markham, Sheffield Forgemasters, Tinsley Bridge and Stauff UK, mini conferences on issues that include high value manufacturing in healthcare, creating sustainable growth in manufacturing, protecting against intellectual property infringements and fraud and celebrating the role of women in manufacturing.

There will also be events to inspire the next generation of engineers, including displays involving the Bloodhound project to develop the ultimate Land Speed Record Car, the Rotherham-based Marussia Virgin Formula 1 team and the bobsleigh that took Nicola Minichiello to the Women’s World Championship.

Meanwhile, Firth Rixson, Festival headline sponsors with Nabarro, will be showcasing innovative and practical projects undertaken by Sheffield’s engineering students.