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Plans to champion Sheffield’s heritage set out

Brooklyn Works, Sheffield
Brooklyn Works, Sheffield

A plan to drive forward the Heritage Strategy for Sheffield is to be considered.

In 2021, the Joined Up Sheffield Heritage Strategy was launched by grass roots heritage organisations across the city, supported by the University of Sheffield.

It set out its vision for the future, and for Sheffield to celebrate its heritage, champion its diversity, and exploit the economic potential and educational value of heritage, over the next ten years.

In a Strategy and Resources Committee meeting on Wednesday 21 February 2024, councillors will be asked to formally adopt the strategy and recognise the importance of heritage in making Sheffield a flourishing city.  

They will also be asked to agree on an action plan, which outlines how Sheffield City Council will contribute to the city-wide strategy.

Councillor Tom Hunt, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said:

“Heritage is everything that we inherit from our past that we want to protect and celebrate today so that it can be passed on to future generations. Our heritage is diverse and inclusive and it tells the story of who we are.

“Sheffield’s heritage is our music, the 107 languages spoken in our city, our proud record of standing up for our rights and as a City of Sanctuary. It is also our rivers, our industrial heritage, our traditions of walking and climbing and so much more.

“By adopting this strategy and setting out a clear plan for the Council to help carry it out, we will not only champion Sheffield’s heritage, but show our commitment to protecting it too.”

Working with the Heritage Partnership Board, the Council has developed the Heritage Strategy Action Plan, which sets out priority areas for the Council.

As well as finding ways to safeguard Sheffield’s heritage, key themes in the plan also include realising the economic potential heritage has on the city. The heritage sector currently supports over 500,000 jobs nationally and contributes £36bn to the UK economy.

Plans aim to maximise this potential and use heritage to grow Sheffield’s visitor economy, create jobs and attract investment.

This will be done by developing the city’s profile with national heritage and funding bodies, as well as by improving engagement with local businesses and ramping up educational efforts around the subject.

Councillor Janet Ridler, Heritage Champion for Sheffield City Council, said:

“We recognise that the importance of heritage for our city is in its social, environmental, educational and well-being benefits and its economic potential.

"The aim of the Heritage Strategy is to preserve and protect our city's heritage, placing heritage at the heart of council decision making, and also to look forward, invigorating interest and development for the people of Sheffield today.”

If adopted, the new action plan will set out a way forward for Sheffield City Council to fulfil its role and allow the people of Sheffield to further benefit from the opportunities which heritage offers.

This work also supports the ambitions of the Sheffield City Goals, which proposes a city ‘Where all our voices are heard equally, and we feel the respect and celebration of each other’s histories, heritage and cultures across our city’.

By understanding the city’s vast heritage, communities will also be able to celebrate our diverse city and make different cultures more visible, which has been set out as a recommendation by the Race Equality Commission.

The full report, Delivery of the city's Heritage Strategy, can be found here.

You can watch the committee meeting live via the Webcast at 10am on Wednesday 21st February 2024.