Sheffield Archives - NewStart
Sheffield is a city of makers, of ‘little mesters’ in workshops and studio complexes dotted around the city’s villages. But can Little Sheffield fit with the ‘big’ economic picture the city region is developing?
Maybe we should look again at the quintessentially Sheffield model of Little Mesters, independent craftsmen working on a specific part the cutlery making process, but within a factory to deliver a final product. Sheffield as ‘One Great Workshop’ again – not necessarily just a city of makers, but a networked city.
On Friday 4th December, Sheffield First, with New Start, NEF and CLES, hosted a roundtable discussion looking at alternative models of economic growth, with a particular interest in how we can ensure that growth is fair and inclusive, so that it benefits everyone in our city and not just a few.
If we genuinely want to support our local economies we need to look again at the people who came out of school without passing a single exam, who have a crap job or no job, who lack confidence and have been labelled failures and find ways of giving them second, third and fourth chances.
Sheffield University has stepped up its role within the city since austerity cuts hit the council. ‘Professor Vanessa’ – academic and circus director – has been appointed to head up the university’s engagement with the city, and talks to New Start about maker culture, creativity and running a city like a circus
On Friday 4th December Sheffield First, with New Start, NEF and CLES, hosted a roundtable discussion looking at alternative models of economic growth, with a particular interest in how we can ensure that growth is fair and inclusive, so that it benefits everyone in our city and not just a few.
This is a major concern in Sheffield; our city was one of the first places to run a Fairness Commission, and we have built on its work by developing the Our Fair City campaign, focused on raising awareness of the challenges people are facing and encouraging action to tackle them.
My fundamental question is as follows: is social enterprise, as a mechanism which operates using the basics tenets of capitalism, able to adequately provide solutions to social problems? Furthermore, is it even a model which has the robustness to survive into the future while meeting its triple bottom line?
At a time when big is seen as better, ‘Little Sheffield’ is pioneering a new approach to local economics in the city that built its fortune on the small. Gareth Roberts reports.