Final victory for Sheffield industry after Star campaign

Nick Clegg at Forgemasters
Nick Clegg at Forgemasters
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Sheffield’s protected status as a business brand is set to be confirmed by the Government this week - after a campaign led by The Star.

The name was included in a list of protected names and trademarks under threat from a consultation about

Rag-out of front page about The Star's Hands Off Sheffield campaign

Rag-out of front page about The Star's Hands Off Sheffield campaign

reducing red tape.

The issue was raised in May by Sheffield Labour MPs Paul Blomfield and Meg Munn, as well as Master Cutler Neil MacDonald, and The Star launched a campaign.

Within days, Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP gave assurances that the protection would stay - but final confirmation has remained outstanding.

Mr Clegg said: “We had to wait until the consultation process concluded but my view has always been clear - that Sheffield’s name needs to be protected.

“It is synonymous with quality, hard work and our grand traditions and I was always dead against removal of the name from the list given protection.”

Mr Clegg added: “I have been arguing the case for some time and the Government will confirm that the protection will continue fairly shortly.

“Those of us like me who have been arguing the case for Sheffield’s name to stay protected have won out.

“The power of the Sheffield name is recognised not only in Britain but the around the world. I am delighted its status will continue.”

Under current arrangements, any business or organisation wanting to use the Sheffield name must ask the Cutlers’ Company for approval.

The aim is to ensure the proposed use does not harm the city’s reputation for quality goods.

Business leaders feared that if protected status was lost, cheap imitations of Sheffield goods could be made in countries such as China, tarnishing the brand.

Master Cutler Neil MacDonald said: “We need to keep the Sheffield name protected. It stands for quality and is famous the world over.

“We are proud of our heritage and reputation, and do not want either threatened.”

As well as Mr Clegg, Mr Blomfield and Ms Munn, fellow Sheffield MPs Clive Betts, David Blunkett and Angela Smith were also against the loss of protected status.

A review of protected names was launched as part of Government efforts to cut ‘red tape’ by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The Made in Sheffield term has been in use since 1297, when it was first referenced as a tax return filed by Robert the Cutler.

The city’s name became protected in the early 1900s, after foreign cutlers started using it on their own cutlery to capitalise on Sheffield’s reputation for excellence.