A growing economic powerhouse with huge investment potential
The Government has big plans for Sheffield and the North of England.
Chancellor George Osborne’s vision is to create an ‘economic powerhouse’ in the North. He plans to offer powers of budget & devolution to create an area of growth that will drive the economy. Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Sheffield Hallam, wants to combine the three major northern cities of Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds. His aim is to create a ‘Northern golden triangle’ to lead the economy and spread growth across the region. In short, the Government sees huge potential for growth in Sheffield and is going to invest heavily. £328 million of Government funding will flow into Sheffield from 2016-2021 to boost growth and business. Sheffield has traditionally had a growing economy of 5% (1997-2007) but the impact of this additional money will transform the region into a booming stronghold for business.
Similarly, Sheffield’s population was already projected to increase by more than 122,000 people by 2033. The addition of such a wealth of job opportunities will draw people to a prosperous city and the demand for housing will surge accordingly. But the investment doesn’t end there. HS2 is a £40.6 billion high-speed railway development which will connect London and the Midlands to Sheffield on the way to Leeds. Current estimates suggest Sheffield Meadowhall station could create a further 4000-5400 new jobs and around 300 new homes. When finished, the journey time to London will be around 1h 9m, only 38 minutes to Birmingham and 25 minutes to Leeds.
The benefits for business and commuters are staggering but the plans will benefit property investors too. Apartment values in Sheffield are currently half the national average but prices won’t stay that way for long. A recent study into the economic impact of the first high-speed rail project, HS1, estimated house prices may increase as much as 14.4% as a direct result of the service. Construction of the new line will begin in 2017 with full realisation of the network by 2034.
So you’ve got the chance to invest now and buy a property before the prices rise. That means Sheffield property investment is right for you if you’re looking for a property in a major city.
Economy & Employment
Sheffield’s Gross Value Added increased by 60% from 1997-2007. The economy experienced a growth of 5% annually.
A series of master plans have transformed the city centre creating thriving new business districts.
There was a 10% increase in the uptake of Sheffield office space in 2014 compared to 2013. This is a reflection of larger companies relocating to Sheffield and an indicator of how popular the area is becoming for business.
Work is underway to create the first Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District in the UK in the Rotherham-Sheffield corridor. The area is already home to Europe’s largest research-led Advanced Manufacturing cluster. Current proposals will ensure Sheffield’s worldwide reputation for manufacturing endures long into the 21st Century.
Also with futuristic industries in mind, £110 million worth of funding is being poured into Sheffield Digital Campus. This will create 2 new additional blocks with 14000 square metres of office space.
The £42 million Fox Valley Development will transform a former steelworks into a vibrant mixed use development of shops, offices and homes. Opening in 2016 it will add 900 jobs to the area; a new Ikea near the Meadowhall Retail Park will bring another 400.
Find out more information with the full Sheffield Property Investment Guide.
In 2014 the Government committed £297.3 million to boost economy growth in Sheffield and now they’re adding £30.7 million more.
Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership now has a total pot of £328 million of Government funding to be invested from 2016-2021.
It’s estimated that this will create 15,000 new jobs, 12,000 new homes and could generate £530 million further public and private investment in Sheffield.
This Growth Deal is part of a long-term plan to devolve £12 billion from central government to local economies and will allow Sheffield City Region to become a powerhouse for the national economy.
The investment fund will be used to boost growth, develop infrastructure, create jobs and stimulate inward investment.
It will accelerate the existing Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone by providing nearly 8,000 square meters of new employment space.
£100 million will create the Sheffield City Region Skills Bank to improve the employability of the local workforce.
£119.5 million will deliver 6 strategic transport projects creating link roads and making highway improvements. Additional funding will upgrade Sheffield’s Supertram and rail networks.
Air: There are 5 international airports within an hour’s drive of Sheffield. Manchester International Airport is the largest, serving over 200 destinations worldwide. There is also a direct rail service to Stansted Airport.
Rail: Trains run frequently to London St Pancras. Journeys currently take 2h 4m but will soon take only 1h 9m when the HS2 service is operational. There are also direct connections to Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and other major UK cities.
Road: The M1 motorway connects Sheffield directly with London and M18 links Sheffield with Doncaster and Robin Hood airport.
Bus: There is a large bus infrastructure throughout the area which includes a free & frequent city centre service called the FreeBee.
Tram: Sheffield’s Supertram network links 6 park and ride sites with the city centre, universities, sports arenas and entertainment venues. A multi-million-pound upgrade scheme is underway to improve the system.
Cycle: Although the city is hilly, cycling is popular and a Strategic Cycle Network is being developed.
Sheffield has 107 primary schools, 18 secondary schools, and 11 independent schools.
Notable schools include:
Aston Fence Junior and Infant School, rated ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted in 2012
King Edward VII School, has an ‘Outstanding’ sixth form with many applicants going on to study at Oxford or Cambridge University.
Higher Education: 12 universities are within an hour’s commute; Sheffield is the most concentrated and popular Higher Education destination outside London.
How a large student population benefits your investment
With over 63,000 students studying at two of the UK’s leading universities (the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam), the city has a big need for student accommodation.
As many lower-end properties are rented by students there is a huge demand in the market for higher-quality residences required by commuters and professionals. This makes Sheffield the perfect place to purchase a new build buy-to-let investment that will attract a reliable professional tenant. Therefore, Sheffield property investment is ideal if you’re looking for a major city property for your portfolio.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping & Dining: Meadowhall Shopping Centre is the 10th largest retail space in the UK attracting over 25 million shoppers each year. It features 280 stores, the recently redeveloped £7 million Oasis Dining Quarter and an 11 screen Vue multiplex cinema. The expansion of HS2 will bring high speed trains direct to the shopping centre ensuring Meadowhall continues to grow to meet demand.
2013 saw the opening of a new indoor market featuring over 90 independent traders. Moor market converted £17.5m of investment into a haven for food lovers to rival London’s Borough Market.
Sport & Culture: Sheffield Ski Village is the largest artificial outdoor resort in Europe. There are plans to convert this into a leisure hub spanning a 150 hectare site.
Sheffield is also home to the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield Football club, founded in 1857.
Green Spaces: Sheffield is the greenest city in Europe with 83 parks and the 19 acre Sheffield Botanical Gardens. As a third of Sheffield lies within the Peak District – an area of extreme natural beauty – it is also the only city in the UK to have a national park within its boundary.