Time to back our global brand: Made in Sheffield

The famous Made in Sheffield logo
The famous Made in Sheffield logo

The Star today launches a campaign to promote the world’s best brand.

We believe ‘Made in Sheffield’ is one of the city’s greatest assets - globally renowned as a hallmark of business brilliance.

David Walsh Business Editor at The Star

David Walsh Business Editor at The Star

It combines centuries of hard-earned heritage with strictly controlled standards.

And it is worth its weight in gold, not just to our companies – such as Forgemasters, Outokumpu and Liberty Speciality Steels – but to the city of Sheffield too.

How many others are known for something?

‘Made in London’ means nothing while ‘Made in China’ is often viewed with suspicion. Cheap, but it has to prove itself. We have a massive head start.

A manipulator vehicle places a hot bar in the press at Independent Forgings and Alloys

A manipulator vehicle places a hot bar in the press at Independent Forgings and Alloys

Now, we want to take this global, premium brand and – using our phenomenal reach – promote it around the world.

The Star and MiS go together like Hendo’s and meat and potato pie, Forgemasters and engineering and Boeing and Sheffield.

On a planet flooded with cheap imitations it is a promise of quality, excellence and innovation.

And if it boosts the city’s profile, reminds us how good we are and inspires our young people, so much the better.

Hot bar in the press at Independent Forging and Alloys.

Hot bar in the press at Independent Forging and Alloys.

‘Made in Sheffield’ manufacturers are a modest breed who rarely shout about their successes - that’s my job.

It is my privilege to be invited into companies who maintain such exacting standards and then tell their story.

Firms such as Independent Forgings and Alloys, based on a site where forging has taken place since 1587 - although today the company is firmly focused on supplying the aerospace industry.

Or ITM Power, whose amazing technology makes hydrogen by running electricity through water. The firm manufactures vehicle refuelling stations which are sold all over the world and is in the vanguard of the switch from fossil fuels.

Graham Cooley, Chief Executive Officer at ITM Power.

Graham Cooley, Chief Executive Officer at ITM Power.

In our new series we will highlight some of the 380 holders of the ‘Made in Sheffield’ licence and show that although centuries old, it is not an archaic tradition to be fondly remembered by museum visitors.

In fact, it is precisely because of that long record of excellence that it means so much today.

In a speech in Sheffield last week, Business Secretary Greg Clark marvelled at the first written reference to the city’s industry, which dates back to Robert the Cutler in 1297. He added: “About 90 years later, Geoffrey Chaucer refers to a Sheffield knife in the Reeve’s Tale.

“This blade was carried by Robin the Miller, who Chaucer tells us ‘no man would touch for fear of his life’.

“Even back then, Sheffield workmanship was a force to reckoned with. Indeed, for a medieval Londoner like Chaucer to mention Sheffield, one has to assume that the reputation of its most famous industry was already well-established.”

Today the Made in Sheffield organisation is run by the Cutlers’ Company, the Chamber of Commerce and the City Council.

Made in Sheffield chairman Charles Turner, with Star business editor David Walsh.

Made in Sheffield chairman Charles Turner, with Star business editor David Walsh.

Chairman Charles Turner said he was “delighted” by The Star’s campaign

He added: “The ‘Made in Sheffield’ mark is all about promoting the city’s products - internationally, nationally and locally.

“The emphasis on ‘local’ is important because local people are the brains, skills and backbone of the world beating companies that use it.

“So we are delighted to work with the The Star to continue to raise awareness of how important these companies are.

“It is a good news story which we must promote to keep the sales orders and investment, like Boeing and McLaren, coming here rather than Leeds, Mumbai or Frankfurt.

“Everyone in the Sheffield City Region benefits from a strong local economy and everyone has a part to play in promoting our excellence in manufacturing.

“So both Made in Sheffield and Sheffield Newspapers are keen that our greatest assets, our skilled workforce, should also be our greatest ambassadors.

“Let’s tell the world it’s Made in Sheffield!”

If you’re a Made in Sheffield member with a story to tell, contact me: david.walsh@jpress.co.uk and on Twitter: @_DavidMWalsh