Sheffield on track with recovery from recession but economic growth falls below UK average

Sheffield’s rate of economic growth over the last five years suggests the city needs assistance in key area to fully complete its recovery from the recession, reveals research by UHY Hacker Young, the Sheffield based accountancy firm.

According to UHY Hacker Young, the city recorded growth in its ‘Gross Value Added’ (GVA) of 6.1 per cent in the five years since the recession, from 2009 to 2013, just below the national average of 9 per cent.

‘Gross Value Added’ (GVA) is the measure of an area’s contribution to the UK economy according to the value of the goods and services it produces. 

Sheffield has recorded a GVA contribution per person of £20,000, just below than the UK average of £20,900.

UHY Hacker Young notes that Sheffield’s economy is growing at a faster rate than local competitors Leeds which saw an increase of 5.6 per cent over the same period.

UHY Hacker Young says that Sheffield’s position as one of the UK’s most important economic centres helps to attract businesses to the city. 

Sheffield’s economy is boosted by the recovering engineering and manufacturing sectors, ably supported by the high calibre graduates from the city’s world-famous universities, with major manufacturing businesses in the area including Tata Steel and B. Braun Melsungen AG.

UHY Hacker Young explains that Sheffield’s good transport links ensure that the city is well placed for businesses, within travelling distance of numerous cities across the North of England and that this has contributed to the economy.

The introduction of HS2 will improve Sheffield’s connectivity with the rest of the UK, opening up the region to further investment and emphasising the importance of the project going ahead.

Also, with Doncaster-Sheffield and Leeds-Bradford airports in close proximity, the local economy benefits from international trade.

Sheffield also has a burgeoning community of technology and media start-ups, concentrated around Sheffield Technology Parks and the Sheffield Cultural Industries Quarter.

Andrew Hulse, partner at UHY Hacker Young in Sheffield, explains: “Businesses may not be making the capital expenditure needed into new IT, plant and machinery.

“This is particularly important in Sheffield due to our advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors.”

“The Government can help the UK’s aerospace sector by ensuring that capital allowances are maintained at the current level at the next Budget, rather than reduced as planned.

“A lot of businesses would rather see a mix between more generous tax breaks for investing in plant and machinery and reduced Corporation Tax.”

“The Chancellor’s latest Budget speech announced plans to build the Northern Powerhouse, an initiative that would receive strong support from Sheffield’s business community.

“Sheffield has got a great deal going for it so a concerted effort by the local council, local businesses and our universities should help to deliver more rewarding and well-paid jobs.” 

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