Editor: Cash boosts are great but north needs real investment

Good news is a bit like buses – you wait for ages then two arrive at the same time.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 6:38 am
The Cutlers' Hall in Sheffield

The council’s announcement that it is bringing back Freebee is just what Star readers have been waiting to hear.

It is the topic that has prompted far more response from you than anything else in recent months and there can be nobody who thinks an electric bus will do anything but help the city centre start its fightback.

What we need now is a date when the first one will appear in town and let’s make it snappy. The independent shopkeepers who are fighting for survival will be the first to say that we must support them if we want them to be around in 2022.

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They and we can’t afford to wait long for this service to appear … every week counts, just like every penny we spend with city stores makes a difference.

Multi-million-pound cash boosts for Castlegate and Attercliffe are also hugely welcome news.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see the resurgence of an area that was so beloved as markets and important enough to house the city’s castle long ago.

There have been improvements around the edges but we must reclaim the whole patch if Sheffielders are to fall in love with it again.

And so it goes for the whole of our region and, indeed, the north.

While we desperately need positive news, we also need to be taken seriously and given the chance to contribute to the national economy in the way we have in the past.

That would not only help everyone here, regardless of social class or neighbourhood, it would help us to help the country grow.

The skills, expertise, creativity and innovation of the north has been ignored for too long. Everyone suffers when you don’t capitalise on what is staring you in the face and governments of all colours have been guilty of that in the past.

So let’s take time to celebrate what has been handed to us but let us not take our foot of that pedal or dull our protesting voices for even one day.

Sheffield has a lot to offer and we need consistent backing from a national level. Today The Star and JPI Media is hosting the Great Northern Conference at Cutlers’ Hall. That’s exactly what we’ll be demanding.