Sheffield's cultural vibrancy and creative capability

Performance in Winter Gardens, image courtesy of Scott Hukins 1005 x 400 px

CITY REPORT SERIES

Sheffield has the potential to be the UK's leading Music City, the city could claim to be the real ale capital of the world, and it has great potential as a digital hub, according to a series of reports commissioned by the University of Sheffield.

The five-part series focuses on Sheffield's cultural industries and explores the city's music, classical music, digital, art and beer sectors. The reports highlight potential growth areas, the economic impact of Sheffield's art and beer sectors, and the huge wealth of creative talent in the city.


CLASSICAL REPORT

A snapshot of Sheffield's classical music sector

Classical artist performing, Fox Moon Photography

Crucible

Sheffield has a thriving and vibrant classical music sector, says new report.

A snapshot of Sheffield's classical music sector, the fifth report in the series, highlights how Sheffield’s classical music scene is ‘vibrant, hopeful and creative, and full of opportunities for young people'.

The report reveals a scene with an 'astonishing amount of classical music making going on'. It celebrates how Sheffield has a vibrant classical music sector, boasting strengths in the city's successful concert series, established and emerging festivals, vibrant music education for children and adults of all ages, and thriving amateur music making.

Read the full article

Download report: Classical (PDF, 2.1MB)

Overview

  • The report gives a snapshot of Sheffield's thriving and vibrant classical music sector.
  • The report identifies how classical music is currently being made and consumed and how it can contribute to the music economy of the city.
  • Over the course of one year, Sheffield held 423 classical events in up to 30 venues, selling 146,250 tickets and generating an estimated income of just under £900,000 from concerts and performances alone.

Sheffield has so much to offer as an international music city and this report clearly demonstrates that Sheffield is not only a great place to study music and live as a musician, but that music is the lifeblood of this city.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City and Culture at the University of Sheffield


DIGITAL REPORT

A snapshot of the creative digital scene in Sheffield

People on stage with digital display: Image courtesy of Universal Everything

Tech for good sign on table. Image courtesy of Yoomee

Sheffield digital sector 'on cusp of something big', says new report

A snapshot of the creative digital scene in Sheffield, the fourth report in the series, highlights the strength of Sheffield's creative digital sector. Jointly commissioned by the University and Creative Sheffield, the report consulted dozens of companies across the Sheffield City Region working in areas of digital design, video games, digital art and culture, digital media and content, and digital making.

In doing so, it shows that over 21,000 people are employed in digital industries across the city region. The top 25 tech companies in Sheffield City Region alone employ more than 12,000 people and bring in more than £2 billion a year.

What’s more, the report found that digital companies in Sheffield are experiencing fast growth, with turnover increasing at 47%. It states that Sheffield has the talent potential to continue to grow its digital capabilities and is 'on the cusp of something big', with the vast majority of companies expecting to recruit more workers over the next year.

Read the full article

Download report: Digital (PDF, 2MB)

Key findings

  • Digital employment in Sheffield and South Yorkshire stands at over 21,000.
  • The top 25 tech companies in Sheffield City Region alone employ more than 12,000 people and bring in more than £2 billion a year.
  • Sheffield digital companies boast one of the highest growth rates of any cluster in the UK, with turnover increasing at 47%.
  • The vast majority of firms in the sector, from smallest to largest, export their services internationally.
  • Sheffield's pipeline of talented students and graduates can galvanise further innovation and growth for the digital sector.

Achievements by Sheffield creative digital companies:

  • Pimoroni is the second fastest-growing manufacturing company in the UK, 50th fastest in Europe.
  • Ten24 has one of the world's largest photography rigs, enabling the company to work with Warner Brothers, Pixar, Sony and Sega.
  • Sumo Digital was the lead developer for Little Big Planet 3 for Sony.
  • Joi Polloi has won two BAFTAs for work on the TV programmes Humans and Live From Space.
  • Kollider won £3.45 million of capital funding to provide a digital business incubator for Sheffield.

Digital companies in Sheffield boast one of the highest growth rates of any cluster in the UK.

Report: A Snapshot of the Creative Digital Scene in Sheffield


BEER REPORT

A snapshot of the beer industry in the Sheffield City Region

Craft beer

Sheffield is real ale capital of the world

Sheffield is the real ale capital of the world1 - and can also stake a claim to being the birthplace of the UK craft beer revolution2

A snapshot of the beer industry in the Sheffield City Region, written by internationally recognised beer writer Pete Brown, found that the Sheffield City Region has a booming beer trade of 57 breweries, 31 of which have opened in the last five years alone. Forty per cent are within the city of Sheffield itself which, the report says: 'makes Sheffield a significant brewing city by any measure'.

The study found the city of Sheffield has one brewery for every 23,991 people and the Sheffield City Region has one brewery for every 32,142 people. Compared to Greater London (one brewery for every 112,355), Sheffield has 4.7 times as many breweries per capita as the UK’s capital city.

What’s more, while growth has peaked in other cities, the number of breweries opening their doors in Sheffield is accelerating and could soon surpass its mid-19th-century peak.

The report also commented on the wide array of beers available, with every Sheffield brewer brewing an average of five beers on a permanent basis and around 11 seasonal, occasional or one-off beers every year. This means 1,000 different beers are produced by Sheffield's brewers every year.

Read the full article

Download report: Beer (PDF, 3MB)

Key findings

  • Sheffield city region can claim the title of birthplace of the UK craft beer revolution.
  • Report finds Sheffield has one brewery for every 23,991 people – 4.7 times more brewers per capita than Greater London.
  • On a typical day there are 400 different unique beers available in the city's pubs.
  • The city region's breweries turn out over 1,000 different beers each year.
  • Sheffield is now urged to shout about its beer brilliance.
  • City should also consider investing in a joint bottling and canning facility, helping Sheffield’s beers reach a wider audience outside the city region.

Notes

1The report notes that Britain is the only country in which cask or real ale is a significant beer institution, and by being found to be the real ale capital of the UK, Sheffield is therefore the real ale capital of the world.

2Thornbridge began brewing what is now known as craft beer as early as 2005. Two years later its head brewer, Martin Dickie, left to start BrewDog, the Scottish brewery commonly thought of as the originators of the UK craft revolution.

The revival of brewing in Sheffield pre-dated the current craft beer boom – in many ways Sheffield was the pre-cursor to a national trend.

Report: A snapshot of the beer industry in the Sheffield City Region


ART REPORT

A snapshot of the visual arts scene in Sheffield

Site Gallery, photo by Shaun Bloodworth

Phlegm, photo by Shaun Bloodworth

Sheffield is a source of inspiration to its lively arts scene

Sheffield has a lively arts scene thanks to affordable living and studio space, and the 'mental and physical space to think and act', according to A snapshot of the visual arts scene in Sheffield.

The report is based on reflections from 390 Sheffield-based artists, art studies professionals and arts organisations in the city and surrounding region.

The research for the report was conducted by Ellen McLeod, an Arts Administrator working for The Poetry Business in Sheffield. It was written by John Clark, an author and educational consultant who set up and ran Bank Street Arts, an independent arts centre in Sheffield in 2008.

Read the full article

Download report: Art (PDF, 2.4MB)

Key findings

  • Sheffield is a huge source of inspiration to its artists, while the arts scene contributes to the city's vibrancy and economy.
  • Report makes recommendations to grow the visual arts economy and make Sheffield a destination venue for art.
  • Sheffield has a large and in general tightly-knit artist community which, due to pressure on cultural funding, tends to be self-reliant.
  • There is a DIY culture, with respect to events and organisations; they are quite small in scale, scattered, sometimes transient but generally resilient.
  • Sheffield has 19 studio groups providing 362 artists with studios.
  • There is outstanding demand for space, and demand for artist studios actually increases with supply.
  • Sheffield's art sector is currently expanding but in recent years has been outpaced by its near neighbours.

This report highlights the huge eclectic mix of artistic talent we have in the city and the potential we have to make Sheffield a destination venue for art.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City and Cultural Engagement, University of Sheffield


MUSIC REPORT

A snapshot of Sheffield's music sector

Drenge

Music report: bridge in Sheffield

Sheffield positioned as one of the UK's leading Music Cities

A snapshot of Sheffield's music sector reveals that Sheffield has the potential to be the UK's leading Music City.

Building on Sheffield's famous musical heritage, the report outlines how Sheffield is a leading Music City with 788 organisations active in the music sector, 465 active bands, 70 rehearsal rooms and innovation across all music genres – including electronic, folk, free noise and rock. The report audits data from across South Yorkshire, as well as incorporating in-depth interviews with key leaders from across Sheffield's music scene.

The report was compiled and written by Sheffield's Sensoria Festival.

Read the full article

Download report: Music (PDF, 2.8MB)

Key findings

  • New report gives first ever snapshot of Sheffield's thriving music sector.
  • Sheffield boasts 465 active bands, 65 recording studios and 69 venues.
  • Report recommends further collaboration to catapult Sheffield's talent pool into professional careers.
  • The term 'Music Cities' was first coined by Music Canada. The international organisation researched cities across the world and identified a basic framework of elements that apply to Music Cities, based on the quality of artists, spaces, engaged audiences and music-related businesses.

Recommendations include:

  • More availability of mid-sized music venues.
  • Collaborative campaigns to promote all aspects of Sheffield’s music scene.
  • More support for the production sector – increasing the industry's economic impact.

We know that Sheffield has a rich music history and an outstanding music scene – that's why Sensoria gets better each and every year. This report gives us the full music industry snapshot for the first time and shows how Sheffield is well-positioned to be the UK's leading Music City.

Jo Wingate, Director of Sensoria, The UK's Festival of Music, Film & Digital


CITY REPORT SERIES DOWNLOADS