Manufacturing festival throws down gauntlet to local businesses

12th March 2012

Organisers of the Global Manufacturing Festival have thrown down the gauntlet to companies to secure new business at the event.

The festival is set to attract hundreds of business leaders from around the UK and internationally to Sheffield on March 21-22 to evaluate the critical issues which assist trade with new markets. Organised by the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Marketing Sheffield, the event is a long-term commitment for the city region's overall marketing strategy to bring people to the area. However, the festival's key aim is to provide businesses with a platform to speak with potential new international partners which could lead to future deals being agreed. Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber, said: We will do all we can to bring the world to the Sheffield City Region by raising awareness of its expertise and knowledge in manufacturing through events such as the festival. But then it's up to companies in the region to take advantage of the visitors by doing business with them to generate further wealth. Headline sponsors for the Global Manufacturing Festival include Nabarro LLP, NatWest, University of Sheffield and Siemens Plc. Martin McKervey, partner at Nabarro, added: The calibre of speakers the event is attracting, the distance that people are travelling to attend and the impact that the festival is having on local manufacturers, all attest to the fact that this event is taking root within UK and global manufacturing as a 'must attend' fixture. We must use this to drive growth forward, to dovetail our products into the world's largest supply chains and to hone our ability to compete in terms of exports, skills and quality. It's all very well to know that our manufacturing sector is world class, we need to use platforms such as the festival to demonstrate it to our global markets. Andy Lowther, director of commercial banking at NatWest Sheffield said: We recognise the importance of the manufacturing sector to the city, as well as the revival of the Yorkshire and wider UK economy. We have a long-standing focus on the manufacturing sector and have a wealth of experience in our ranks to help SMEs make the most of their manufacturing opportunities. I am personally keen we drive forward manufacturing growth in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and beyond. Professor Mike Hounslow, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: "The University of Sheffield is a world leader in metallurgy and engineering research, working closely with both local and international industry to develop new manufacturing techniques and technologies. The University's Faculty of Engineering is one of the largest in the UK with a long tradition of working with industry including Rolls-Royce, Network Rail and Siemens. The Global Manufacturing Festival is a great opportunity for businesses in Sheffield to showcase their contribution to the UK economy and the University is proud to be working with these companies to ensure the future success of manufacturing and research in our region and across the globe." Andrew Peters, divisional director at Siemens Drive Technologies, who will be speaking at the festival, said: "Manufacturing is at the heart of the UK's economic recovery. Events such as the Global Manufacturing Festival in Sheffield are essential to highlight the depth and strength of the sector and to dispel the myth that Britain does not make anything anymore. As a UK employer of 13,000 people, including 5,000 working in manufacturing, Siemens Plc is pleased to be supporting the event for the second successive year." Local businesses which purchase a ticket for the convention and trade show at Sheffield City Hall on March 22 will be able to take a partner organisation from across the UK or internationally free of charge. More than 60 per cent of tickets have been allocated for the festival already. Anyone wishing to attend can purchase a ticket from £99 + VAT. For more information visit or follow on twitter @GMFSheffield.

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