IF the economy is to grow, the Government has to accept it must invest in manufacturing.
This statement might seem churlish, coming after the Enterprize Zone announcement and the predicted 12,600 jobs. But what manufacturing needs is funding now and the Master Cutler presents a strong case for this on today’s Business page.
He told the Cutlers Company Forfeit Feast that without funds, the green shoots of growth will shrivel.
Professor Bill Speirs is right to make this point. The private sector has to grow before it can create jobs.
And to do that, it needs money.
One suggestion is that the money comes from a new bank set up for industry. It would need several billion pounds to invest, but if the Government is serious about helping manufacturing, it has to make a real cash commitment of this type.
Point when our patience falters
LATEST news that the ill-fated Sevenstone development in the heart of Sheffield will be scaled down by a massive 25 per cent leaves the sensation that the project is lurching from crisis to crisis.
Developer Hammerson revealed the details to shareholders in their six-monthly report but could only predict that the Sheffield scheme would be on its ‘longer-term’ programme rather than considered ‘committed’.
That is deeply disappointing for Sheffield is completely committed to the scheme, having endured years of blight in our retail quarter on its behalf.
There are areas of the city centre which are barren and desolate with empty shops. We even saw the demolition of our fire station headquarters to make way for the scheme.
Only now to be told that the project will be a quarter smaller and the start date still a couple of years away.
This is a major project and we know it is enduring difficult and unpredictable economic pressures. But there must come a point when patience falters and compromises are no longer an option.
And when that moment arrives, it would be reassuring to know that our city fathers had built in a fall-back position to ensure that the slow death of the city centre can be avoided. Somehow we do not feel very confident that such an option exists.
SHEFFIELD woman Elvina Lee is an inspiration. Not only has she beaten cancer three time, she has turned her experiences into a play which ought to be seen by anyone undergoing the same dark experience. To rise above the emotional roller coaster experienced by cancer patients shows a remarkable strength on Elvina’s part. This is a lesson many would appreciate.