Minister for manufacturing Lee Rowley MP confirmed as speaker at 385th Cutlers' Feast in Sheffield

The Master Cutler is set to welcome the minister for manufacturing as speaker at this year’s Cutlers’ Feast - although he admits he didn’t know there was one.

Thursday, 12th May 2022, 2:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 2:54 pm

James Tear says Lee Rowley MP will give the keynote address at the historice event at the Cutlers’ Hall on Thursday, May 19.

It comes after the Secretary of State for Business, Kwasi Kwarteng, expressed an interest which ‘did not come about’, Mr Tear said.

In his place he proposed Mr Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire.

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Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire and 'minister for manufacturing'.

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It comes after Liz Truss, who was secretary of state for international trade, last year pulled out with less than 24 hours to go.

Mr Tear, boss of Sheffield precious metals specialist The Solpro Group, said although he was unaware of Mr Rowley’s ministerial position he could turn out to be the best person for the job.

He added: “I’m delighted Lee Rowley has committed. He describes himself as minister for manufacturing. I didn’t know there was one but it makes him even more appropriate to have as our speaker.

This year's Master Cutler, James Tear, is group managing director of Sheffield precious metals specialist The Solpro Group. Pictured with a scoop of silver grains.

“He is the right person to listen to us on the state of manufacturing in South Yorkshire and for him to highlight his position.

“Although he isn’t a secretary of sate he could well be a better person because he is concentrating on our sector.”

The exclusive, white-tie-and-tails event is organised by 398-year-old manufacturing organisation, the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire.

The white-tie Cutlers' Feast at the Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield.

The 385th Feast will be attended by hundreds of senior figures from business and the establishment including the civil service, church, military and City of London livery companies, as well as freemen (manufacturers) and friends (service sector supporters) of the Company which was founded in 1624.

It used to last three days, with booths erected in the High Street and church yard and ‘with all business generally suspended'.

Today it is confined to a single evening but remains an opportunity to ‘showcase the region as a centre for modern, effective and efficient manufacturing through innovation and technology’.

Margaret Thatcher was speaker in 1983 and had to be smuggled in to avoid protesters.

Recent guests include then business secretaries Sajid Javid and Greg Clark, transport secretary Lord Adonis and former Sheffield MP Nick Clegg, when he was Deputy Prime Minister.

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