Business Secretary Vince Cable said the country was beginning a “serious renaissance in manufacturing” after a day touring companies in Sheffield.
Dr Cable launched the official start of work on the £42m Fox Valley development in Stocksbridge that will bring a Tesco, offices, housing and a warehouse for Tata Steel.
He also toured the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at Catcliffe and heard the head of manufacturing at Rolls Royce say the new AMRC Training Centre for apprentices would be his top choice for 16-year-olds looking for a career.
He then visited a micro-manufacturer in Darnall, GW Energy, which is expanding thanks to the British Business Bank, which he established.
Finally, he spoke at a Lloyds-bank sponsored Manufacturers’ Dinner for 500 at Ponds Forge sports centre. It was part of the Global Manufacturing Festival, at which more than 1,000 people attended a conference and trade show at the AMRC Training Centre yesterday.
He said: “Britain is at the beginning of a serious renaissance in manufacturing and I have seen several indicators in Sheffield today.”
Dr Cable, who is also president of the Board of Trade, also said he was trying to develop an “industrial strategy” that would last beyond the life of one Parliament, so manufacturers could plan for the long term.
He said: “We want to get this recovery embedded and we are trying to develop the idea of an industrial strategy that looks long term, beyond the life of Parliament.
“Big investors plan 10 years or more ahead and we want a structure that does the same.
“We are beginning to get the idea working – the Government works very effectively in some industries such as aerospace.”