Yorkshire Business Leaders Talk North Shoring to Sheffield

Yorkshire Business Leaders Talk North Shoring to Sheffield

23 March 2016

Photograph credit: Photograph courtesy of Paul Burrows Photography Ltd www.pailburrowsphoto.com

Caption: Business Leader Panel at ‘Invest in Yorkshire 2016’ Event

The Invest Sheffield Team, part of Creative Sheffield – the economic development arm of Sheffield City Council, joined an audience of developers, consultants, growing businesses, civic leaders and professional services firms at the ‘Invest in Yorkshire’ event held in Leeds today. Organised by Insider magazine, attendees discussed Yorkshire’s inward investment opportunities. 

Topics such as attracting overseas business, property investment, renewable energy investment and Sheffield’s North Shoring campaign were debated by the panel of business leaders, followed by a series of questions from the audience which covered everything from the EU referendum, the Northern Powerhouse identity, HS2 to regional competition.

On behalf of Sheffield City Region, Giles Searby Partner at HLW Keeble Hawson and Chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP's sector group for Business Professional & Financial Services, sat on the panel and spoke about Invest Sheffield’s North Shoring campaign, an approach which is supported by existing Sheffield-based law firms and aims to attract other legal services firms from London and the South East to Sheffield.

Speaking today, Giles Searby Partner at HLW Keeble Hawson and Chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP's Sector Group for Business Professional & Financial Services, said: “By attracting other law firms to relocate to Sheffield, we are providing a career ladder for our graduates and retaining the alumni from the top universities here in the city.

“Having worked in both London and Sheffield at leading law firms I have experienced what benefits Sheffield has as a city to work and live in. From a work point of view, Sheffield can offer more affordable city centre office space and has two large universities producing good quality graduates. Whilst from a leisure perspective, Sheffield has a fantastic cultural offering, having the largest theatre complex outside London which is something that is important to me, being on the Board of Trustees of Sheffield Theatres.”

It was agreed across the panel, which represented most of the Yorkshire region that workers in London are seriously thinking about moving to the region as they are squeezed out of the property market, but that for Yorkshire to take advantage of this, the region needs to offer high quality jobs to attract them.

Sheffield’s North Shoring campaign (the process of moving certain aspects of a business up North) has seen Invest Sheffield target legal services firms in London and the South East, and highlight the benefits of Sheffield as a business location. With large legal services firms such as Fragomen Worldwide setting up its second UK office in Sheffield and Wake Smith Solicitors having relocated their 100 staff into the city centre, it’s a time of change for the legal sector which could bring further jobs to the city, with wider regional effects.

Cllr Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council & Cabinet Member for Business, Skills & Development, said: “With an overheating London property market, legal services firms are now looking at different ways of reducing their overheads and streamlining their businesses. By moving certain aspects of their business to Sheffield, they will find competitive Grade A city centre property, affordable living costs and excellent transport links.

“The city also has access to a large talent pool, with Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield having an average intake each year of 300 law students (each), giving a combined total of 1,800 law students. And both universities are keen to engage with legal services firms wanting to make the move.

“On top of all this, Sheffield has a great lifestyle offer as The Outdoor City, being the only major city in the UK with a National Park – The Peak District - within its boundary.”

National and international law firms have been created and grown in Sheffield. With Irwin Mitchell having its headquarters in the city, DLA Piper having started in the city and becoming one of the largest business law firms in the world, the Invest Sheffield team are hoping the North Shoring campaign will bring more jobs to the city and further grow Sheffield’s legal sector.

The panel consisted of Kevin McCabe, Founder of Scarborough Group International, Paul Marsh, Head of Projects and Finance, Regeneration and Investment Organisation (RIO), UK Trade & Investment, Mark O'Reilly, CEO, Team Humber Marine Alliance, Michael Peeters, Regional Senior Partner, DAC Beachcroft LLP and Giles Searby, Partner, HLW Keeble Hawson and Sheffield City Region LEP.

To learn more about Sheffield’s legal services sector and the opportunities here in Sheffield, please contact the Invest Sheffield Team  on +44(0)114 223 2382 or invest@sheffield.gov.uk