UKTI’s support for Sheffield trade mission revealed in full

William Beckett
William Beckett
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The Government has revealed full details of its help for the Master Cutler’s trade mission to Canada following anger over a lack of support.

A spokeswoman for UKTI, the government’s export arm, said they had provided £200 for each eligible company and £1,200 to the Sheffield-based International Trade Forum, which organised it.

She said: “Trade missions like this provide a vital boost for our economy in helping grow UK businesses abroad. We’ve worked with the International Trade Forum to agree a package of support ahead of the Master Cutler’s trade mission, including providing £200 to each eligible company, as well as £1,200 to the forum itself.

“As well as financial assistance, the trade mission will receive vital support from UKTI throughout the trip. Getting UKTI Canada support on the ground provides invaluable insight into doing business in Canada, securing meetings with potential buyers, networking events and a full market brief. “The British High Commission in Canada will also be helping the Master Cutler to showcase business opportunities presented by the Sheffield City region during his visit.”

Last week, William Beckett, of the International Trade Forum, said he was “incredibly frustrated and annoyed” at the support for the mission. Funds were only offered last week, days before it started on Monday June 6.

He was one of 12 people from seven companies who travelled. The mission, being led by Master Cutler Craig McKay, had the backing of 25 companies when it was announced last year, Mr Beckett said. But this fell to just seven due to a lack of financial support and a downturn in the oil and gas sector.