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State of Sheffield 2015

State of Sheffield 2015

The State of Sheffield 2015 conference hosted by the Sheffield Executive Board debated the trends, challenges and opportunities facing Sheffield that are raised by the latest State of Sheffield Report published on 27th February. With over 140 attendees from all sectors in Sheffield, the conference heard from Professor Gordon Dabinett and Andrew Walshall, co-authors of the independently written report, together with Paul Swinney, Senior Economist at the Centre for Cities.

You can hear from some of the key players here State of Sheffield 2015

This is the fourth annual report that the Sheffield Executive Board has commissioned.  It provides an overview of the city of Sheffield that will be used to inform current and future city priorities.  Sharon Squires introduced the State of Sheffield Report 2015: “The purpose of these reports is to understand our city better, to judge how the city is doing and also to review trends. No other city produces reports like this. This report is used by the Sheffield Executive Board to develop shared priorities and to develop city initiatives put in place as a result of its findings. This is a shared responsibility and understanding between all the sectors represented on our Board from public, private, academic and voluntary, community and faith sectors working together.”

Key themes in this year’s report are the global city comparisons, financial vulnerability and climate change.

Professor Gordon Dabinett: “This year we looked at Sheffield in the wider context, making data comparisons on a European and global scale. Businesses in Sheffield trade throughout the world and people educated in the city go elsewhere in the world.

“A global city is defined by its power and influence and such cities tend to hold seats of government, media, and finance and to have more of a connection with one another, rather than other cities in same country. Sheffield is a secondary city, but this does not mean it is second best. Secondary cities contribute to growth. And Sheffield is a very ‘livable’ city, perhaps more likely to provide ‘quality of life’ outcomes than a more economically successful city that will be more expensive to live in.”

“Prior to the economic crisis in 2007, Sheffield’s economic performance was strong, like other European cities. Post-crisis Sheffield has been affected by government austerity but has still performed well around the labour market.   Economic productivity is however a challenge.”

Financial vulnerability amongst the citizens of Sheffield is increasing, and does not only relate to those out of work.  The introduction of the Our Fair City Campaign launched in January 2014, campaigning for the living wage and Sheffield Money will all help to alleviate it.  Next year’s report will be able to monitor progress.

Whilst flooding and increasing incidences of extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, present challenges to Sheffield, the city has some protection due its large amount of green space and is reducing its CO2 emissions.

Paul Swinney spoke about UK cities. “Sheffield has bounced back strongly, after being hit very hard in the 70s and 80s. The city has 52,000 more jobs than in 1991. Now it needs to think about the next phase of growth.  High paid, high skilled jobs are likely to increasingly cluster within city centres.  And so to support job creation in decades to come, Sheffield needs to focus on its skills base and making its city centre as an attractive place to do business as possible.”

Sheffield is an innovative city, being among in the top 10 UK cities for patents, with 5.6% patents per 10,000 population.  Graduate employment has also improved; only 6.1% of new graduates in 2012-13 were not in employment or further study. Cultural events are also having a positive impact – drawing people into the city centre – and the current Sheffield BID proposal will have a further positive impact on the local economy.

To download a copy of the State of Sheffield 2015 Report,  please go to www.sheffieldfirst.com


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