State of Sheffield report: 'City needs to show traditional steel to ensure inclusive growth'

Cranes in Sheffield city centre.
Cranes in Sheffield city centre.
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Sheffield needs to show its 'traditional steel' and come together to ensure it can continue to grow, an annual review into the city's prospects has found.

The seventh annual State of Sheffield report, produced by Sheffield City Partnership Board, said the city had seen 'national austerity and economic uncertainty' over the last 10 years, which had impacted on financial inequality social cohesion and opportunities, particularly for young people.

The report looks at how the Steel City has performed in five key areas: inclusive and sustainable economy, safety and security, social and community infrastructure, health and well-being, looking forward - the sustainability and exclusivity challenge.

In the first of a series of looks at the report, The Star today looks at its findings on the city's economy and how growth being inclusive and sustainable is key to helping Sheffield flourish.

The report said: "As this report was in production, the cranes on our skyline provided evidence of the changing centre of a city which has for 10 years seen national austerity and economic uncertainty impact on local service provision, economic productivity and household incomes.

"The city and its people have shown remarkable resilience, but there have been inevitable impacts on financial inequality, social cohesion and opportunities, particularly for young people.

"There are no easy solutions to these challenges. In an interconnected world, it can seem that we are at the mercy of forces over which we have no control or influence.

"Improving the odds by simply wishing away the causes of adversity is not an option, but it remains the fundamental determination of all those committed to Sheffield to make it possible to beat the odds, and to ensure Sheffield can respond with characteristic creativity and innovation, showing its traditional steel to overcome potential threats promote successful development.

"This requires businesses, public institutions, service providers, communities and residents to work together to promote growth and create jobs and opportunities."

The report, co-edited by Prof David Robinson, head of geography at the University of Sheffield, and Andi Walshaw, performance and research manager at Sheffield Council, said Sheffield's gross value added (GVA) - the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area - grew at about the average rate over the last 10 years, when compared to the rest of Yorkshire.

Prof Robinson said: "We are measuring growth using traditional methods but what this report tries to do is measure it differently. The city is performing very well. There have been changes around employment but there is an issue around productivity and inclusivity."

The report also added that Sheffield had experienced a 'pronounced decline in manufacturing jobs, which has not been met with a subsequent increase in the proportion of the workforce in highly-skilled occupations'.