Sheffield is experiencing the highest level of inward investment interest in a generation, according to Councillor Mazher Iqbal, the Council’s new cabinet member for business and investment.

Councillor Iqbal said: “Our success with the likes of McLaren, Boeing, the Sheffield Retail Quarter and New Era Square is grabbing the headlines.

“The city’s pipeline of potential new developments is the healthiest we’ve ever seen. Since April, we have averaged around 50 active enquiries per month but it is the scale and quality that is particularly impressive.

“If the top 10 current enquiries were all to be successful it would mean well over 500,000 square feet of new development and would create about 2000 jobs.

“Current enquiries cover all sectors and range from further ‘blue chip’ names to smaller overseas innovative businesses who are keen to be associated with Sheffield’s success. It’s exciting times.”

This positive outlook is further confirmed by statistics from the Council’s planning team, which show unprecedented levels of planned developments coming to the city over the last 12 months. More than 300 applications have the potential to generate 4000 new jobs for local people.

Mahzer Iqbal

Office investment in Sheffield is also seeing record growth. In Q2 this year £43.4m was invested in the sector; an increase of 623 per cent compared with the same period a year ago and the highest quarterly investment volume since Q3 2006.

Office leasing activity across Sheffield reached 69,087 sq ft in Q2 2017, 75 per cent ahead of the same period in 2016.

The burgeoning confidence in the region is reflected in Meadowhall’s application to invest £300m in its biggest development since it opened. If approved on 12 September, the leisure hall expansion will create more than 1,000 jobs.

Existing brands at Meadowhall have also invested more than £24million in their stores there in the last two years and brands such as Michael Kors, Diesel, Joules, Kiko Milano, Jack Wills, Urban Decay, Ghost and Nespresso have recognised Sheffield as a growing market.

Added to that, the new Ikea store set to open at the end of September will deliver similar levels of employment.

Councillor Iqbal said: “With Meadowhall’s potential expansion, we’ve got an out-of-town shopping and leisure venue that could rival the best in the UK. On top of that we’re seeing the long-awaited transformation in the city centre with the revamped Moor and construction of Sheffield Retail Quarter. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got grade A office space. We’ve got space to build. We’ve got an HS2 city centre station location on the horizon and we’ve got plans in place to improve traffic flow in the Lower Don Valley.

Aerial view of the SRQ site

“We’re the greenest city in the UK and on the edge of the incredible Peak District. The Chinese business community has recognised that Sheffield is a very attractive investment opportunity, and when you add it all together, you can see why.”

“Businesses recognise that as a rapidly developing city in the Northern economy we offer great value for money in terms of rent and land. On top of that, Sheffield offers a wealth of talent in growing areas like the digital sector and advanced manufacturing, and our Outdoor City status gives firms a unique offering to their employees that no other city can match.”

Invest in Sheffield, which is part of the Council’s economic development arm Creative Sheffield, offers free help to businesses establishing, relocating or expanding within the city.  Call 0114 223 2353 or email

Paul Sargent, Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Queensberry, added: “Sheffield is a rapidly developing city, and it is great to be part of this through our involvement in Sheffield Retail Quarter.

“The combined impact of this and Meadowhall will put Sheffield’s retail offering back on the map and we are already seeing high levels of interest from retailers who recognise the many new opportunities the city provides. We have been, and will continue to work seamlessly with Sheffield City Council and other stakeholders to deliver the long awaited regeneration of the city centre, whilst also supporting the high levels of investment into the wider region.”

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