VIBRANT SHEFFIELD: Enthusiasm of local team nets pioneering event

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“I felt it was really important that we were starting our enquiries where it could make the most difference – and the Grant Thornton team in Sheffield gave an immediate response saying: ‘We want to do this!’

Thirty five people from the Sheffield office dedicated weeks of their time to making the first Live Lab happen, according to chief executive Sacha Romanovitch.

“They went out and really listened to the community before pulling their thoughts together to stage a day like this. Success will be real, tangible actions.”

In March, Grant Thornton Sheffield staff canvassed the opinions of people in the arts, culture, advanced manufacturing, the council, NHS and education to find out what the key issues were.

Office head Paul Houghton said: “They said ‘we are great but people don’t necessarily know about it’. Eventually we came up with the question of how can Sheffield be the creativity and innovation capital of Europe.

“We had more than 20 tables with a mix of people on each one all sharing their experiences of what makes Sheffield great. This was not a top down approach.

“It’s up to us to follow it up and curate the ideas and try to ensure they are taken forward.

“From attracting more inward investment to ensuring our young people have the skills to success, we will be sharing ideas about how our organisations and communities can work together.

“Our aim is to be shaping a vibrant Sheffield economy that will make the city and wider region a great place to live and work in the decades to come.”