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Business secretary visits Forgemasters

17 September 2008

John Hutton, the business secretary, will visit Sheffield Forgemasters today (Wednesday) to see how the global heavy engineering specialist has recovered from the floods of summer 2007.

Forgemasters invested more than six months of time and £16m to recover from the extensive floods last summer.

Mr Hutton will return to the Brightside Lane HQ following a visit last year to talk to company chief executive Graham Honeyman and director Peter Birtles to discuss progress made by the company and see how the 64-acre site has progressed.

The 200-year-old company partially resumed work just four days after suffering devastating damage in the flash flooding in the city which saw much of the site under six foot of water with furnaces extinguished and machines waterlogged.

The company, which has survived two World Wars, was cut off by torrents of water leaving staff stranded in buildings on the night of 25 June.

More than 50 staff were initially trapped in the Brightside Lane HQ without power and communications however emergency services rescued employees in the early hours via helicopter and boat to leave 30 staff there overnight.

The company retains a pro-active stance in working with local and national agencies to address the causes of flooding in the Lower Don Valley.