Editor of The Star James Mitchinson told the audience at Sheffield Business Awards he was committed to “absolute excellence” and his papers would fly the flag for Sheffield and the city region with unswerving conviction.
And he backed up his words by hailing The Star’s nomination for an award at The Press Gazette British Press Awards for its Heroes of Hillsborough in-depth investigation. The ceremony in London was dominated by powerhouses of the national media but The Star was there, and on merit, he said.
And although it didn’t win, the paper could point to a victory the very next day in its campaign for a ‘root and branch’ review of business rates.
Announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement, it followed a drive to highlight the high street SMEs being crippled by an unfair system. More than 5,000 people who signed a petition “were listened to”, he said.
Then he addressed the evening’s business.
“There is no better feeling for an individual or a company to be recognised by its peers, the people who know just what it takes to be the best in your field.
“For the winners, tonight will represent the culmination of a year, if not many years, of blood, sweat and tears. Just as we were at the Press Awards on merit all of you are here tonight on merit!”
And he also reviewed some of the city’s good news.
In the Autumn Statement George Osborne had announced £61m for Government-backed high value manufacturing ‘Catapult’ centres including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and its nuclear sister in Rotherham. Sheffield University and the AMRC will share in the £235m for a Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Material Science.
Meanwhile the Local Enterprise Partnership was looking forward to receiving £300m from the Growth Deal.
It was the fifth largest award among the 39 LEPs and is set to create 28,000 jobs and train 40,000 people.