State of Sheffield 2017: A real picture of life in the city

State of Sheffield 2017: A real picture of life in the city

21 February 2017

Sheffield has released a new report exploring the real picture of life in the city. The report – which can be read in full here – looks at how Sheffield is changing over time, and how we compare to other major cities in the UK.

The production of the report is a collaborative effort with organisations across the city and for the first time has been written by six different authors, each an expert in that area.

The 2017 report, which was designed by students at Sheffield Hallam University, covers six areas, looking at Sheffield’s Vibrant Economy, Sheffield as A Youthful City, An Ageing Friendly City, A Fair and Just City, at The Ecosystem and at Sheffield’s Democracy & Engagement. 

The report identifies opportunities where Sheffield is already thriving or making progress that the city can build on in 2017, and sets out recommendations to help stakeholders across the city achieve this.

Among the many positive highlights, it paints a picture of success for the city’s thriving business sector, stating a 10.3% increase in self-employment within the last year, growth in the advanced manufacturing and creative and digital industry sectors and faster-than-average growth of GVA. Sheffield is also the second most prosperous core city in the UK and has the second highest number of patents granted per capita of any UK core city. There has also been strong growth in apprenticeships, with more than one-and-a-half times the national average being taken up.

The report also confirms Sheffield’s reputation as The Outdoor City, a leading destination for those who want a lifestyle that combines the best of city-living with the countryside. Sheffielders have significantly better access to woodlands across the whole city than anywhere else in the country, and the city’s urban parks, woodlands and countryside receive more than 25 million visits each year. This includes the 1,200 people who complete one of five free 5km Parkruns across the city each Saturday morning. People are also using cars and buses less, with journeys by bike and on foot increasing by 96% and 45%, and 88% of people who are active by walking – the second highest of the core cities.

Chair of Sheffield City Partnership Board, Lord Blunkett of Brightside & Hillsborough, said: “Sheffield distinguishes itself as the only major UK city to conduct this kind of authentic and objective analysis of itself.

“There is a lot to celebrate here, as well as clear areas to work on. But the great thing about this city is that it is endeavouring to avoid the danger of burying its head in the sand. Where there are issues, the Sheffield way is to tackle these head on. This report will inform policy makers and agencies throughout the city, as well as helping people that live, work, study and play in Sheffield to understand their city better. The lesson both past and present is that despite the enormity of the problems we face, it is possible to make real improvement if we work together. Not just joined-up thinking but practical action to achieve change.”