Favourite Things: Vibrancy and prosperity are key to Sheffield’s success

Andrew McDaid - My Favourite Things
Andrew McDaid - My Favourite Things

Andrew McDaid lives in Stannington and is a qualified accountant and Head of Corporate Services at Mitchells Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers in Chesterfield. He has spent his entire career in public practice, primarily working with owner-managed businesses, through a variety of firms during his career, from small independents to the big four. Apart from a few years spent working in Brisbane, Australia, he has always lived in Sheffield.

Since returning from Australia in late 2014, he joined Mitchells and now specialises in working with ambitious businesses to secure them funding, tax savings and grant assistance to grow their workforce and their bottom line. Andrew, aged 42, is married to Clare who works for Yorkshire Bank and has a seven year old son, George.

Outside of work, Andrew is massively into music, trying to attend as many concerts and festivals as he can, including an annual pilgrimage to a European festival, such as Rock Werchter in Belgium or the Heineken Open’er in Poland.

Vibrancy and prosperity

I think the fact that Sheffield boasts two great universities, brings great advantages to the city.

We also show great diversity, as many students drawn to Sheffield from overseas. Many even stay on after qualification to form businesses in the region which obviously encourages success.

I think this will continue especially as new buildings like The Diamond come in to fruition. Hopefully this will make a huge contribution to the wider Sheffield City Region too.

The music scene

We have a huge array of music venues in Sheffield - the Arena, the O2, the City Hall, Leadmill, Plug and so on.

Each venue attracts different bands from the new and undiscovered to more well-known, established bands which means that there is always something for all tastes and wallets.

Sheffield is also home to a number of big bands, my favourite being Arctic Monkeys who I have seen many times, even in Poland and Belgium.

I love attending music gigs, especially festivals - I don’t camp at them anymore though! We tend to stay at a nearby hotel to get cleaned up and have a good night’s sleep, ready for the following day.

City centre pubs

and restaurants

I enjoy all of the city centre eateries and pubs and always enjoy trying out somewhere new whenever they open too. But particular favourites of mine include Leopald Square, St Paul’s Square and All-Bar-One. I’m often found there at the end of every other month for Network King’s informal networking for the region’s professionals.

Ecclesall Road

Ecclesall Road has a multitude of great pubs, restaurants, and boutique shops which make a welcome change to normal, more mundane High Streets. I really enjoy visiting The Pointing Dog.

Parks and green spaces

I love that Sheffield has an abundance of green spaces. One of my favourite green spaces to visit is with my seven-year-old son at Millhouses Park. The cycle tracks, adventure playground, boating lake and the café, Millhouses Park is a great place to visit, especially on a sunny Sunday morning.

Peace Gardens

The Peace Gardens provide a great Heart of the City and is a great space to chill out whilst in the bustling city centre. The vibe there can be great, especially during the summer months with warmer weather and the water fountains in action.

sheffield wednesday and Hillsborough Stadium

Of course, I couldn’t write a column about my favourite things in Sheffield without mentioning the home of football, Hillsborough Stadium. I have been an Owl all my life and currently live in S6, not far from the ground.

Sheffield as a city is hitting well below its weight in Football, with one side in the First Division and one in the Championship. I do hope that with the new owner and new pitch that Sheffield Wednesday can get back in the Premiership where they belong!