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Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg at the Centenary Dinner

30 Aug 2013

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg had to be rushed to Sheffield by car for his speech to the assembled guests at our Centenary Dinner in June. Significant delays to trains leaving London for Sheffield put his appearance in doubt but his security staff managed to deliver him to the Cutlers’ Hall with just 15 minutes to spare.

His speech, which opened the evenings celebrations following our two day Exhibition and Conference, focussed on the City of Sheffield and its industrial heritage “a powerhouse of the last industrial revolution”, whilst turning also to the growing confidence in the city’s ability to take a leading role in advanced manufacturing.

He paid tribute to Harry Brearley and his brother Arthur and welcomed Anne, Harry’s grand-niece to the proceedings. He also used the opportunity to make a significant Government announcement on how it intends addressing the problems our major cities have in moving their development plans forward: “They’ve got to talk to the Department of Communities and Local Government about planning. Check with the Department of Transport that local roads will be accessible. And the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to ensure there’ll be broadband businesses can use. That’s even before they’ve met with the Department for Business or UKTI to discuss potential support for the businesses themselves. That’s why I’m chairing a new committee, working with the Chancellor, that will knock down these walls and bring all these departments together….a joined-up conversation about local growth and even greater ambitions to hand power back.”

Along with the Rt Hon Michael Fallon’s address to our Conference the previous day and the subsequent after dinner speech by Principal Speaker John Cridland of the CBI, the Deputy Prime Minister made much, not just of the discovery made by Harry but the way in which Sheffield lead the way in making that discovery into a globally significant industry.



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