‘Protect Sheffield’s name and reputation for quality’

Master Cutler Neil MacDonald at Cutler's Hall, Sheffield.

Master Cutler Neil MacDonald at Cutler's Hall, Sheffield.

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A campaign is being launched in Sheffield to protect the name of Sheffield in the business world.

Business leaders and politicians fear restrictions of using the city’s name - the Cutlers’ Company currently grants permission - will be dropped in the Government’s drive to cut red tape.

They are concerned that the result could be cheap overseas imitations of Sheffield cutlery and other items, tarnishing Sheffield’s reputation for quality. The Star has launched a campaign to save the Sheffield brand.

Master Cutler Neil MacDonald said: “Sheffield’s name is synonymous with quality steel and cutlery, and the threat to its protected status is an issue of concern, particularly in the year of the stainless steel centenary. To people in London our protected name might not mean much, but it’s important because of quality. What you don’t want are imitations made in countries like China, using the Sheffield name.”

The Cutlers’ Company and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce are objecting, Deputy Prime Minister and Hallam MP Nick Clegg is ‘supportive in principle’ of the campaign and Sheffield’s five Labour MPs are lobbying ministers.

Central MP Paul Blomfield said: “Granting the use of Sheffield for company names is an important quality control process that protects Sheffield’s reputation for high quality products and services.

“It is misguided to see it as ‘red tape’ and I’m concerned that scrapping this protection could lead to companies with no links to Sheffield using our city’s name.”

Local MP Angela Smith said: “Not one firm has asked or said that the protection of the name of Sheffield has caused them extra bureaucracy or a problem.”