VIBRANT SHEFFIELD: The city council’s role is to create conditions for growth

John Mothersole, Sheffield City Council chief executive
John Mothersole, Sheffield City Council chief executive
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I knew I was coming to something exciting and it’s turning into something quite big.

Sheffield is about its skilled people and its attitude of modesty and self deprecation and its ability to cope with most things.

We need to turn that into a commodity.

The Arctic Monkeys didn’t write strutting, arrogant songs about big dreams, they sold life and did it really well.

People might wake up to the formula but they couldn’t copy it because it’s true to Sheffield.

How do you market a city whose essential qualities are modesty? You market it to modest people.

I think Sheffield will sell itself by telling more stories about Sheffield – every one is remarkable or heartwarming or both.

People are more likely to buy into it by advocacy – through people who have experienced it – and build a network of stories about the city. You’ll find lots of people with a story to tell.

Sir Nigel Knowles, the head of the Local Enterprise Partnership, is a great advocate for Sheffield.

“He will tell stories about Sheffield all day.

The city has always invented tomorrow, the Advanced Manufacturing Park is inventing and then making tomorrow.

It doesn’t try to sell itself cheaply.

The message today is not what is the council for, this opportunity is too big for it all to be about the council.

The best thing we can do is create the conditions for growth rather than be growth.