13 March 2017
It must be March! The UK’s beer lovers are gearing up for Sheffield Beer Week, taking place at venues across the city from 10 to 19 March, the outdoor folk are preparing for a weekend of adrenaline-fuelled adventure in The Outdoor City and the much-loved classical music scene is primed for centre stage with their annual festival; Classical Weekend 17 to 19 March.
It is thanks to Sheffield’s unique lifestyle offer – one which, amongst other things, encourages combined interests in art, music, beer and the outdoors – that these three events are intrinsically linked on the Sheffield events calendar.
In 2015 global consultancy KPMG released a report called ‘Magnet Cities’. In it, they compared the offer of capital cities and what they coined as ‘second-tier cities’ worldwide; identifying the components that attract and repel – as a magnet would. The report concluded that whilst non-capital cities aren’t always able to compete with capitals on infrastructure and available finance, there are opportunities to grow the economies of second-tier cities by attracting investment and talent by playing to other strengths. And a key part of Sheffield’s offer is undoubtedly the lifestyle that can be achieved here.
Councillor Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for business and economy at Sheffield City Council, said: “There is a real crossover between Sheffield’s reputation as the world’s beer capital, its status as The Outdoor City and its international profile for producing and showcasing music.
“Increasingly, Sheffield is piquing the interest of those looking for a good work-life balance; culture, city living, unique experiences and outdoor adventure as well as the career. It is no coincidence that this weekend in March encapsulates all of this.
“The Outdoor City Weekender, the Classical Weekend and Beer Week are all great reasons to enjoy Sheffield this March.”
The Sheffield Beer Report, released last year, confirmed what the city’s beer lovers already knew; that Sheffield is the world’s best beer city. With 57 breweries across the Sheffield City Region – 23 of those in Sheffield itself – it has significantly more breweries per person than London; often cited as the UK’s beer capital.
The appeal of the World’s Best Beer City isn’t only in the sampling – although there are over 1,000 beers for sale in Sheffield. Nor is it solely about rearing and investing in talent from within (the brewers surveyed in the 2016 Sheffield Beer Report stated that they planned to invest a total of £3.2 million in expansions over the year). It is also attracting talent to the city – people like David Turner who relocated to Sheffield from London with his family in 2015 to launch Turners Craft Bottle Beer Shop on Abbeydale Road.
Sheffield launched as The Outdoor City in 2015, positioning itself nationally and internationally as the UK’s leading destination for people who love city life, outdoor adventure and rural escapes. With 80 public parks, 650 other green and open spaces and one third of the city lying within the Peak District National Park, it is unsurprising that the city’s thriving beer scene isn’t the only thing attracting and retaining talent in the city.
Research carried out by Sheffield Hallam University found that the city’s outdoor economy pumped an additional £53m in GVA into the city each year whilst consumer spend on outdoor equipment was three times the national average per household. This, coupled with the above-average participation in walking, running, climbing and riding, has helped shape Sheffield’s unique position as The Outdoor City; a place that offers both big city culture and easy access to outdoor recreation in equal measures. The Outdoor City Weekender, 17 to 19 March, is a celebration of this and launches Sheffield’s outdoor events calendar for 2017.
The Classical Weekend is a ‘must-attend’ event for classical music connoisseurs and curious newcomers alike. It takes place in a variety of venues across the city from March 17 to 19 and boasts an exciting line-up including traditional Chinese musicians, and a UK premiere from award-winning composer John Luther. Now in its second year, the first Classical Weekend saw 6,000 people enjoying the arts in Sheffield, 15 per cent of whom had never heard live classical music before.