More top events will bring vital tourism boost

Jessica Ennis
Jessica Ennis
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JUST one day after the culmination of one of the biggest sporting competitions ever held in Sheffield, a multi-million pound sports, culture and leisure events calendar for the city has been unveiled.

Thousands of people attended the European Figure Skating Championships at Sheffield Arena - and tens of thousands more are expected to visit the city over the next year, attracted by music festivals, arts events and sporting contests.

The calendar is intended to drive tourism, boost the local economy by around £10 million, and place Sheffield as a key location in the UK during the country’s Olympic year.

Some of the highlights from the sporting programme include next month’s UK Indoor Athletics Trials and Championships, and the National Table Tennis Championships at Ponds Forge in March.

Once again, Sheffield will become the focus of the international snooker community when the Crucible hosts the World Championships in April, and the following month will see runners take to the streets for the annual half marathon.

In November, skating will cut a dash back to Sheffield with the British Figure and Dance Skating Championships at iceSheffield in Attercliffe.

The city will also play a key role in the first-ever staging of the South Yorkshire School Games.

And during the Olympics, a three-day event will be held at the Don Valley Stadium and Don Valley Bowl, featuring a big screen showing the progress of heptathlete Jessica Ennis.

Huge crowds are expected to attend to cheer on Sheffield’s golden girl.

Away from sporting action, cultural attractions include April’s citssssy-wide Sensoria arts festival, and the Tramlines music festival in July.

The Botanical Gardens hosts Art in the Gardens in September, the same month that culinary delights will be on offer in the Sheffield Food Festival.

Ghosts and ghouls will take over the city centre as usual for Fright Night at Halloween in October.

Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for business, jobs and growth, said the major events calendar is ‘the jewel in Sheffield’s cultural crown’.

“At the council we work very hard bringing elite national and international sporting events to Sheffield,” she said.

“Seeing these elite teams and athletes coming to our city to compete also has a positive impact on people in Sheffield, in terms of inspiring people to get more active.”

And Brendan Moffett, director of tourism agency Marketing Sheffield, called the programme ‘exceptional’.

“It gives a significant economic and profiling boost for Sheffield,” he added.

Visit www.sheffield.gov.uk for full details of the events calendar.