The event, at Tortworth Court Hotel on Thursday, September 11, attracted representatives of major sector businesses including Jaguar Land Rover, Sapa Profiles, Avon Metals and Bridgnorth Aluminium to name but a few.

The members’ briefing comprised presentations by Brian Greenwood, a civil servant responsible for materials and engineering within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Eoin Dinsmore, of market analysts CRU and ALFED President Simon MacVicker.

Mr Greenwood said the Government was keen to work closely with the manufacturing sector.

“There is a tremendous amount of support available to industrial sectors, including metals, and we’re doing everything possible to assist businesses. The key to success is different players across different sectors working together and also guiding Government in terms of what is required to help develop a thriving manufacturing sector,” he said, speaking after the briefing.

In opening the members’ briefing Mr MacVicker said major advances were being made by the sector in automotive.

He said: “We are delighted to see many of the ALFED member companies growing their business in the automotive supply chain. This reflects significant continuing long-term investment in the UK by a number of ALFED members.”

However, he cautioned that continued lobbying of Parliamentarians was required in order to cut “mountains of legislation” both in the UK and Europe.

“If the UK is seen as an expensive and difficult place to do business it will lead to lack of investment, company closures and ‘carbon leakage’. Our work through 2013 with the Minister for Energy has found traction, which was reflected in the Budget statement a few months back. It was in many ways a ‘pro-business’ and ‘pro manufacturing’ Budget,” Mr MacVicker said.

He also unveiled a proposed new membership structure for the Aluminium Federation, involving direct membership. The aim of this, he said, was to enable the ALFED team to devote even more time to member support and aluminium sector promotion initiatives.

The members’ briefing was followed by ALFED’s annual dinner, with after-dinner speakers Matt Chamberlain, of the London Metal Exchange, and ‘80s music star and broadcaster the Reverend Richard Coles, who talked about his transition from pop to the pulpit.

A feature of the event was a competition to guess the number of recycled aluminium cans required to manufacture a Morgan sports car. The closest answer was given by Stephen Greenwood, of Bridgnorth Aluminium, who won a bottle of champagne. There was also a prize draw to win a Morgan for a day – this was scooped by Patrick Ahnert, a junior account manager (Wrought Alloys) of Swansea-based Aleris Recycling Ltd.

The members’ briefing and annual dinner was followed the next day by the twice-yearly meeting of the leaders of the international aluminium associations, with representatives from the USA, Japan, Europe and the Middle East attending.

The representatives reported on trends and issues affecting their respective domestic aluminium sectors, in addition to strategic global matters, touching on the demand, supply and movement of aluminium, recycling and sustainability achievements and challenges, as well as the stockholding and trading of aluminium.

It was the first time that the gathering has taken place in conjunction with ALFED’s annual dinner and was coordinated by Chris Bayliss at the International Aluminium Institute.