Council’s Regeneration Plans More Important Than Ever Says Leading Business Lawyer
A new economic report published today suggests that Sheffield will see weaker economic growth by the end of this year than many of its regional rivals.
The latest UK Powerhouse report by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), predicts weak growth for the steel city, with the projected 6.1% year-on-year growth in GVA* by Q4 2021 placing the city in the bottom 10 out of 50 cities** analysed for economic growth.
Although the city is expected to deliver a much improved level of growth compared to the 6.4% fall in GVA output in Q4 2020, Leeds, Rotherham, Wakefield, York, Hull and Doncaster are all expected to return better results.
Sheffield is projected to fall 20 places to rank 41 out of 50 cities in terms of GVA by the end of Q4 2021, while in a reversal of fortune; Leeds will enter the top 20. Only Bradford and Huddersfield are expected to perform worse.
Sheffield is one of only 18 cities in the report that are expected to increase employment levels by the end of 2021. According to UK Powerhouse the city will have 500 more jobs at the end of this year compared to levels at the end of 2020.
The UK Powerhouse report makes several recommendations to tackle obstacles still faced by business caused by the disruption of Covid-19 and Brexit. These include urging firms to take advantage of policies to encourage investment and improve skills and making clear the value of local government having bespoke plans in place to support job creation when furlough ends.
In Sheffield, the £470m flagship heart of the city project will continue the process of regeneration as the city emerges from lockdown.
Expert Opinion“The impact of coronavirus and its associate lockdowns will be felt for years to come but Sheffield has proved resilient and with our people and businesses working together, there is no reason why the city cannot bounce back strongly.
“Local rivalries are often overplayed, but the contrast with Leeds is hard to ignore. Leeds became the site of the new Infrastructure bank in the budget. The two cities have switched places in terms of economic output and now John Lewis is closing its much loved Sheffield store, while the retailer retains the Leeds store opened in 2016, all of this speaks volumes.
“John Lewis closing its doors after so many years means building on the positive redevelopment of The Moor will be crucial. The fall-out from the loss of John Lewis makes ensuring the success of the heart of the city project vital, not just for the city centre but Sheffield and the wider South Yorkshire region as a whole as it seeks to attract and retain the talented workforce required to support increased economic growth.” Dorrien Peters - Partner