Business leaders and political figures have praised the month-long Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield for making a significant contribution towards moving the UK economy away from an over-reliance on service industries.
Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Green hailed the Festival as “a timely celebration of the UK’s manufacturing industry” saying it was fitting that it was held in Sheffield as the region had a long-standing heritage for innovation and quality in manufacturing.
Headline sponsors Nabarro and Firth Rixson were both delighted with the outcome.
“Firth Rixson were very proud to play their part in the Festival,” said Alison Bettac from the firm.
“The UK Economy is looking to the manufacturing sector to help create wealth on a global stage and we need the right skills to make this happen.”
Nabarro partner Martin McKervey said: “The festival really placed Sheffield’s skills and products centre stage.
“The opportunities are truly global and the international buyers who came made it clear that we must deliver to the very highest standards in terms of quality, skills and cost to maintain a competitive advantage and to embrace the challenges ahead with confidence.”
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce acting executive director and Yorkshire and Humber Manufacturing Task Group chairman, Richard Wright, said: “The festival has been successful in engaging with a diverse audience, including young people, politicians, international manufacturing and engineering companies, the business and financial services sector, schools and others in order to boost perceptions of modern manufacturing in the UK.
“Much of this success is down to impressive collaboration between the many organisations in the City Region who have come together to make this festival happen and reinforce Sheffield’s status as a world-leader in the sector.
“The festival also gave businesses from across the UK and abroad the opportunity to seek advice on growth and discuss best practice which is vital to the ‘export-led recovery’ outlined by Whitehall.”
Meanwhile, Tony Egley, general manager of Brightside-based industrial knife manufacturer Microblade, said of the Festival’s keynote Manufacturing Convention: “My first impression was one of wow!
“There was a buzz about the reception and the exhibitions that has been missing in Sheffield for the past ten years. The speakers spoke with clarity and knowledge of their subjects and what was good about the convention is the debating and commercial opportunities that will come from it to help us move forward and build on our expertise and experience.”
Brendan Moffett, director of strategic marketing at Creativesheffield, said: “The festival has enjoyed coverage across the world and welcomed a media delegation from China during the week.”