As a new year beckons, we ask prominent figures: ‘What has Sheffield learned in 2016 - and what are your resolutions for the city in 2017?’
Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam
2016 has been a historic year and events in the political world have led to deep divisions being exposed within our families, communities and country. The UK’s vote on whether to remain a member of the European Union split largely on lines of age, class, education and geography. Sheffield’s margin for leave was even closer than the rest of the UK at 51 to 49 per cent, but this varied hugely across the city. Analysis shows Hallam and Central constituencies voting decisively to remain, while in other parts of the city, over 80 per cent of the vote was for leave.
Although at times our differences may seem irreconcilable - and no doubt there will be some awkward moments across Christmas dinner for many families up and down the country this year - it is important to remember that we all have much more in common than that which divides us. We all want the best for our country and communities, and my resolution for Sheffield next year is that we can all find a way to unite and work together to make sure we find a way forward that works for everyone.
Coun Julie Dore, leader, Sheffield Council
2016 has been a year in which Sheffield has taken significant steps forward. However, it has not been easy. The impact of Government cuts to public services are more visible, with the growing crisis it is causing in social care. As a city we have a strong tradition of looking after people in need. We will continue to do everything we can to protect services people in our city need.
The issue of trees has been very controversial and especially in the past month. We have apologised where we made mistakes and have committed that this will not happen again. Moving forward we want to ensure both our and future generations can benefit from th e city’s green heritage – that’s why we are replanting more than one tree for every tree we remove.
As we move into 2017 we will continue to be presented with new opportunities and challenges. I want people to be reassured that my focus will continue to be on jobs, protecting the vulnerable and investing in our children’s’ futures. I know that these are the issues that matter to everyone in Sheffield.
Kim Streets, CEO, Museums Sheffield
2016 has been a Year of Making – a creative programme of events, commissions and exhibitions celebrating Sheffield’s talents. It’s official, we’re good at making stuff – at designing, manufacturing, innovating and producing. Earlier this year I was asked to talk about the stone relief that runs across the front of the Town Hall. If you stop and look, you’ll find people there whose graft made this city, the grinders, the turners, the buffers, the architects and the artists who designed, built, lived and loved here – all recognizable in Pomeroy’s frieze. It’s a vision of art and industry working hand in hand and it’s as relevant now as it was then. It tells how the past can help us to imagine the future, to realise what is possible if we nurture the ideas and experiences that bring us together rather than drive a wedge between us. We just need to stop for a minute and see what’s right in front of us. So, I hope Sheffield has remembered what we’re good at, learned that we need to shout louder and understands that, to paraphrase the late Jo Cox, we have more in common than that which divides us. If I resolve to do anything in the new year it’s to be confident about Sheffield, to know what we’re about, to recognise our talent and to work together to make and remake a city that everyone can be proud of.
Lisa Pogson, MD of Airmaster Mechanical Services
For Sheffield in 2017, I am looking for the three Cs - choices, chances, changes. I would love us all to keep our confidence going and grab some of the great opportunities that are around. We need to collaborate and really push on some of the local infrastructure projects, to get us all working a bit easier and smarter, whether that be the tram-train, links out to Doncaster Sheffield Airport or the virtual links created by the new superfast IT projects.
Adrian Bagnoli, Sheffield BID board director
I think 2016 was the year Sheffield city centre came to be recognised as one of the region’s best destinations for the more mature, after dark market. The Botanist recently opened in Leopold Square, we’ve recently launched the city’s first dedicated late night live music and cocktail lounge at Cubana and there’s a brand new cocktail bar named Kuckoo opening in the spring – also in Leopold Square.
Sheffield is also due to welcome other highly respected brands such as the Pitcher & Piano and Turtle Bay in the coming months. The days of the area being the preserve of the 18 to 25 age group are long gone and the impact of the new image can only have positive ramifications across all sectors. I think 2017 brings exciting opportunities as this market develops and I’m keen to do as much as possible to maximise the offering with initiatives like ‘Alive After Five’ which allows operators to do their best to encourage workers to relax in the city centre after the close of business.
Jane Shields, Sheffield Creative Guild
2016 has been a great year! After planning for most of 2015, we launched Sheffield Creative Guild in May and in the last nine months we have formed a membership of nearly 300 individuals, organised 19 events and created a buzzing, vibrant network of creative talent in the city.
In terms of what we’ve learned? A lot! We’ve learned that Sheffield is alive and full of amazingly talented and diverse creatives, that when people come together, fantastic things happen and that when we form a network of support, people thrive and grow together.
Away from the guild, we’ve learned that given a bit of space and time fantastic places like Union St, Dina and Roco Creative Co-op can grow and flourish. We’ve learned that we are a City of Makers and that applies to our future as much as our heritage and we’ve learned that the people in this city are friendly, creative and welcoming. But maybe we knew that already!
As for 2017, our resolution is to remember all of this and work hard to continue to grow, celebrate and come together to put Sheffield on the map as a place of creativity, talent and wonderful people.
Maurizio Mori, Nonnas, Ecclesall Road
I’d suggest 2016 has been a good year for Sheffield – one that hasn’t been knocked by political shocks at both national or international levels. Nothing for Nonnas was more devastating than the earthquake back home in Italy earlier in the year. Amatrice – which was close to the epicentre of the quake – was virtually flattened by the disaster that caused almost 300 deaths. We decided to launch an appeal to help boost the ongoing rebuild and survival effort and we were truly shocked by the generosity of our customers here in Sheffield. They’ve now helped us raise a staggering £3,000 – it has been truly humbling.
A lot of major multi-million pound investment projects like The Moor redevelopment and the Sheffield Retail Quarter plans are set to take major leaps forward in 2017. I hope they don’t lose sight of the need to have a healthy mix of the city’s own independent operators while they search for the blue chip national and international brands to be the icing on the cake.
Nonnas is celebrating its 20th year on Ecclesall Road and it has been an honour to be a key part of the Sheffield success story of recent years.