Regeneration, health, academia and the arts were about as far from Master Cutler Tony Pedder’s mind as anything when he left Corus at the age of 53, in the early 1990s.
“It was great to be asked by Graham Honeyman to help him out at Forgemasters,” says Mr Pedder, “then Hugh Sykes asked me to get involved with regeneration at Renaissance South Yorkshire.”
Forgemasters isn’t Tony Pedder’s only continuing connection with steel.
He is also chairman of Metalysis, a pioneering South Yorkshire company that could revolutionise the way valuable metals are refined, replacing highly inefficient, slow and chemically hazardous processes used for the last 70 years with an eco-friendly alternative.
On the business regeneration front, Tony Pedder has also been chairman of Business Link Yorkshire – since abolished by the Coalition Government.
He is currently chairman of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, having held a similar role at the former Sheffield Primary Care Trust at a time when four trusts were merged and turned around after having previously made losses.
Tony Pedder chairs the Council of Sheffield University, where he is also Pro Chancellor.
“Both the health sector and universities have gone through a period where they have had to become more business-like – possibly the hospital side more than the universities,” says Mr Pedder.
“There was a lot of good business thinking, but I think that has been taken in a step.”
In addition to his role at the university, Mr Pedder is chairman of the AMI Advisory Board, which support the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, established by the university and aerospace giant Boeing.
He also serves as a trustee of Sheffield Theatres.
He will continue in those roles during his year as Master Cutler and a leading spokesman for manufacturing in the region.
“I feel pretty passionate about manufacturing and I don’t think an economy of this size can survive meaningfully, providing jobs and opportunities, without a significant manufacturing presence,” says Mr Pedder.
“I really feel it is important that we are seeing manufacturing bounce back and I’m delighted that seems to be a common thread across the political parties. That’s my passion and that is what I shall be trying to encourage.”
n Tony Pedder’s wife, Jane, becomes the new Mistress Cutler.
The couple have two sons, John, who is an architect in Sheffield and James, an engineer, based in London, who works for the world’s largest brewer, AB Inbe