‘Better Future Together’ scheme to make Sheffield a top global innovator

23 February 2017

Leading Sheffield organisations have announced a 25-year plan to make the city one of the world’s biggest innovators.

On Friday, representatives from the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals revealed a vision for the future which aims to make the Sheffield City Region a ‘globally connected top UK city’ competing on a global scale.

The vision revealed six priority areas to transform the region’s future: creating an eco-system, maximising the local impact of investment, joining-up health and well-being, transforming education, promoting the regional green network, and revolutionising internal and external connectivity.

At the launch of the project, Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “more than 400 organisations and leaders across the Sheffield City Region have already contributed to the vision to create an even better future for everyone who works, lives and invests in our area.”

However, Heather Campbell, Professor of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield, and one of the project’s leading figures, is aiming to boost this number even further.

She said: “We’re actually looking to bring significantly more than 400 contributors in and working with us because it’s really important that we have that scope to work from.

“The reason that we designed the process in the way that we did is because any one of us could go away and write a vision but that would probably have little effect unless people feel committed and mobilised to take it forward, and the only way you can do that is if you involve other people in the process and draw on their knowledge.”

Mrs Campbell emphasised how one of the key parts of the scheme is to focus on bringing the people of South Yorkshire together in an effort to make the region one of the country’s most ambitious communities.

She said: “A lot of regions can be seen variously falling out with each other, but if we can change that mind-set in South Yorkshire then that will change thinking and make us a much more credible place for investment.

“A changing culture will be the starting point, and within a relatively short period of time having that sort of credibility will be significant.”

It is clear that leading organisations and figures in Sheffield are trying their best to maximise the potential of the area in terms of economic growth, innovation, healthcare, education, and environment.

Written by Jake Lane

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