VIBRANT SHEFFIELD: Aiming for capital status so Sheffield can fulfil potential

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Of all the G7 nations, the UK has the biggest gap in productivity and wealth between the capital and the regions.

Grant Thornton research revealed that an additional £479 billion could be pumped into the UK economy by 2025 if the nation tapped its full business potential.

In Yorkshire and the Humber that figure is £57bn.

By leveraging the strengths of individual cities and maximising their contribution to the national economy, Grant Thornton is seeking to develop and sustain a vibrant economy.

Despite issues of talent retention and an ageing population, Sheffield’s recent business growth statistics indicate a dynamic economy, the proportion of firms growing to more than £3m turnover within three years in Sheffield City Region is above the national average.

The Sheffield Live Lab brought together the city’s fast-growth businesses with public sector institutions like the University of Sheffield and the city council.

Together they started work on an action plan for Sheffield to become the innovation and creativity capital of Europe.

Norman Pickavance, head of brand and culture at Grant Thornton, said: “It’s a big goal – and to achieve it we need a collaborative approach that involves the active participation of the private, public and third sectors.

“That’s why we’re undertaking a nationwide series of thematic and city-based inquiries to get to the heart of what it will take to develop a vibrant economy across the UK.

“I’m delighted we kicked off the first city inquiry here in Sheffield.

“While they are guided by the three themes of trust and integrity, sustainable growth and thriving environments, they will pay specific attention to the opportunities and challenges epitomised by places like Sheffield.

“We cannot develop a vibrant economy if cities like Sheffield do not fulfil their own potential.

“That’s why the focus of the event was how to make Sheffield the innovation and creativity capital of Europe.

“Thank you for sharing your time, we are delighted to have had such a positive response.”