When talking to businesses across the region they often tell me we need to be shouting about ourselves.
We have got some great companies making excellent things, whether it be computer games, code, semi-conductors, music, art or beer as well as advanced manufacturing and the more traditional things Sheffield is associated with such as cutlery and steel. We need to celebrate this and be more ambitious in terms of where we want to go.
The Year of Making Sheffield 2016 is a way of puffing out our chest and singing about what we have got so it resonates across the country and across the world.
It’s crucial that business gets closely involved with the creative community.
Business cares passionately about Sheffield. In fact, everyone loves Sheffield.
Business ought to see the YOM Sheffield 2016 as an important platform for collaboration and investment and capitalises on it for the benefit of the city region.
If you look at places such as the Northern Quarter in Manchester, Shoreditch in London and Brighton, they are creative and vibrant places. Creative communities retain and attract talent and this should be a key driver in the Sheffield City Region over the next 25 years.
The first YOM Sheffield 2016 commissions have been announced – 13 totalling £80,000. They were the best of the best, but we only had so much money to invest in the creative community.
Altogether, the panel received 65 proposals that amounted to £420,000.
Now we are inviting companies to consider collaborating with applicants who were unsuccessful in the first round, to invest in the creative community.
However, it has to be right for both parties. Business will want a return on its investment.
For example, a company might want to commission a bespoke piece of art for its boardroom or to support an exhibition that adds value to their business as it aligns or reflects their products or services. Some companies may be prepared to create events that draw more clients towards them or generally give their time for a project.
We would like a conversation with companies about how they can become involved in the Year of Making Sheffield 2016 and to invest in the creative stock of the city region.