SHEFFIELD Forgemasters carried off the top prize as The Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield drew to a close with the Made in Sheffield Awards.
A dinner at Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield saw more than 300 business leaders, alongside Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield MP Nick Clegg, recognise the achievements of businesses and individuals that have done the most to embody South Yorkshire’s tradition for craftsmanship and bolster the city region’s international reputation.
Mr Clegg told the audience that he was “convinced with every fibre in my being” that manufacturing would be at the forefront of a new model of sustainable growth.
He went on to stress the importance that the work taking place within the city’s manufacturing and engineering companies is currently playing in the UK’s economic recovery.
He continued: “The hopes of the whole country are genuinely on what you (manufacturers and engineers) can achieve. Most of the hard work needs to be done by you. You are the innovators, you are the creators and you are the designers.”
The event, compèred by journalist and Today presenter Justin Webb, rewarded those in the manufacturing sector who are already doing this work.
Sheffield Forgemasters scooped the Made in Sheffield Award and SFIL chief executive Graham Honeyman said: “Forgemasters is driven by an ethos of maintaining Sheffield manufacture, powered by a Sheffield raised workforce.
“Our manufacturing skills continue to win key global contracts, tap into the fastest growing sectors and maintain a market lead in niche products. We will continue to lly the flag for Sheffield across the globe.”
Other winners included: Firth Rixson for demonstrating how training can play an integral part in a company’s success; William Beckett Plastics for growing export sales in 2010 by 30 per cent; AESSEAL as a business where innovation runs throughout the company and is being exported across the world; and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing, who scooped the Manufacturer Support Award.
The Apprentice of the Year award went to Luke Shaw who works in the maintenance department of Firth Rixson Metals and has been an apprentice electrician since 2008. He was described as an “outstanding” apprentice who has become a real ambassador for the company.
Charles Turner, Chairman of the Made In Sheffield Mark and managing director of Durham Duplex, said: “The dinner was a marvellous end to a great festival as it allowed the City Region to publicly recognise some of its success stories and inspire the next generation. The spotlight on manufacturing companies has shown how they have been investing their own futures with their focus on skills, innovation and exports all underpinned by Sheffield’s reputation for quality. It is a private sector-led recipe for success.”
Mr Clegg reassured guests that the government’s renewed focus on manufacturing is part of a long term goal for the UK: “What we have tried to do over the last 10-11 months is to use the constrained resources that we have to make sure that the manufacturing renaissance is not just a flash in the pan but is part of a new story of economic prosperity and growth in Britain.”
The event was sponsored by Barber Harrison & Platt, Barclays Corporate, Creativesheffield, DLA Piper, Sheffield Hallam University, The P&A Group of Companies and Heath Lambert. It was organised by Insider Media, publisher of Yorkshire Business Insider.