Sheffield will host the Global Manufacturing Festival from the 14th to the 24th March, in association with the Financial Times and EEF.
The event is being led by Square 5 Ltd, in partnership with Creativesheffield and Business & Education South Yorkshire; sponsored by Nabarro LLP and Firth Rixson, it will comprise of a series of focused events, workshops, exhibitions and conferences with leading representatives from the world of manufacturing, politics and education.
The national launch of the festival was held in London on 18th January. Mark Prisk, Minister for Business and Enterprise, described the festival as “significant” and “timely” given that in December 2010 manufacturing grew at its fastest rate in 16 years.
The London event, held in Westminster, highlighted the importance of advanced manufacturing and engineering to the UK’s economic future, the magnitude of inspiring the next generation of engineers and provided a sample of what’s to come during the festival in Sheffield.
Mark Prisk said: “Manufacturing is leading the way in rebalancing the economy and reducing the budget deficit so it is vital that we work with industry to make sure that exports continue to grow. Over the next four years we are cutting corporation tax from 28% to 24% and attracting new talent to manufacturing by expanding the number of adult apprenticeships available, so by 2014-15 there will be funding for 75,000 more adults to start than under the previous Government’s plans.”
Will Butler-Adams, CEO of Brompton Bicycles Ltd, designers and manufacturers of the infamous folding bike, was among those who attended the launch. He commented: “There is common misconception that there is no manufacturing in the UK. Yet we remain the 8th largest manufacturer in the world; leaders in Formula 1, Aerospace, Defence, and of course, folding bikes, to name but a few. These industries contribute to somewhere in the region of 18% of GDP.
“In parallel, the personal pride and recognition of the title ‘Engineer’ has been whittled away in the last fifty years and this needs to be revived to bring the brightest minds back into making things and delivering real value to Great Britain PLC.”