A vision for a high value ‘Manufacturing Valley’ along the M1 was set out at the 378th Cutlers’ Feast last night.
Prof Sir Keith Burnett, University of Sheffield Vice-Chancellor, called for massive expansion of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at Waverley to take on large infrastructure projects that would help renew the city region.
The Feast, held at the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield city centre, is the annual dinner for members of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. It is the only ‘white tie’ event outside of London and billed as the most important business dinner outside the capital.
It was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and representatives from industry, the civil service, the armed forces, livery companies from the City of London and beyond as well as Freemen and Friends of the Company.
Sir Keith described the potential for a step change in the partnership between the university and industry.
He said: “I believe we have the potential for a great deal more, something which could transform the AMRC site at Waverley into the hub of advanced manufacture in the UK: a High Value Manufacturing Valley along the M1 corridor.”
Master Cutler Tony Pedder said the feast was the high point of the year - and again urged Government to embrace the ‘transformative’ potential of shale gas to help create jobs and rebalance the economy.
He added: “We must get on with this now.”
Senior Warden David Grey, MBE, called for an industrial strategy.
“We want Government to show the same single-mindedness that it has shown with its debt reduction strategy. We must have a Plan A and stick to it.”
Nick Clegg said no one had done more to secure Sheffield’s reputation for excellence than the Company.