Study shows Sheffield’s universities support 20,000 jobs and generate over £1 billion for the city

Sheffield’s universities support 19,520 jobs and add more than £1 billion to the local economy, says new analysis.

Thursday, 6th August 2020, 12:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th August 2020, 2:53 pm

The research - by Hatch Regeneris for the University and College Union (UCU) - found that between them the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University directly employ 10,520 people and support another 9,000 jobs across the city through their supply chains and the expenditure of staff and students.

Sheffield is one of 25 cities analysed as part of the work looking at the local economic contribution of universities. Between them, the two institutions bolstered the local economy by more than £1 billion last year through gross value added (GVA).

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Students at the University of Sheffield which adds £1bn to the economy

GVA is the key measure of economic contribution, capturing the total value of goods and services produced locally by the universities through their supply chains and the money spent by employees and students. The figures show how the universities are among the single largest contributors to the local economy.

Recent YouGov polling for UCU highlighted how people recognised the importance of their local university on jobs and the economy. Two-thirds said they feared that there would be a negative impact on the local economy if student numbers dropped as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. While three-quarters feared a negative impact should a local university go bust.

A third of those in work said the local university was important to their own job. While over two-fifths said they knew someone who studied or worked at a local university, or whose employment depended at least in part on the university.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “This review shows how significant Sheffield’s universities are to the local economy.

"Universities are vitally important to our society, but their important role in the local economy is often overlooked.

“This study shows that they have a huge impact in creating local jobs, supporting local businesses, and attracting people and organisations to the area.

“The Westminster government needs to come up with a comprehensive financial support package to ensure that no university collapses and that local economies do not lose valuable jobs.”

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