Photo by Stanhope Photo
Photo by Stanhope Photo.

New report highlights ‘moment of opportunity’ for Sheffield’s growing culture sector

Ambitions to develop Sheffield’s cultural offer and ensure the city is creative, prosperous, diverse and full of opportunity for its residents, have moved forward.

A review of Sheffield’s culture sector has highlighted areas of growth and opportunity for the city, including strengths in its grass roots offering and independent businesses showcased. Some of the city’s larger, anchor institutions were also recognised for their acclaimed national and international profile.

However, the city also faces challenges, with the report outlining that Sheffield must ramp up cultural investment and attract more funding for the sector.

More must also be done to champion diversity and inclusion and better reflect the city’s residents and creators. The report also indicates that young people who face barriers accessing culture must be better supported.

The review will be presented to councillors in an Economic Skills and Development Committee meeting, today (Wednesday 21 February 2024), where next steps will be considered.

Councillor Martin Smith, Chair of the Economic Skills and Development Committee at Sheffield City Council, commented: “We want the cultural sector in Sheffield to be thriving, inclusive and diverse. 

"That’s why the Committee has commissioned an in-depth report to help us drive forward our ambitions for the city.  The audit we are discussing today is the first step in that process, with a new Culture Strategy to follow later this year." 

The audit was commissioned as part of the new Sheffield Culture Strategy 2024, which is being developed to address some of the long-standing obstacles faced by creatives living and working in the city.

The strategy is being championed by the Culture Collective and Culture Consortium, and funded by Sheffield City Council, the University of Sheffield and Arts Council England, and aims to tackle obstacles laid out in the review.

The sector audit is just the first phase of work being done ahead of the development of the strategy, and will help to shape it, along with the outcomes of consultation with both the public and Individuals working in the sector.

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