Sheffield City Council has adopted a new framework to bring even more major events to the city.
Noting the success of the Women’s Euros, other major sporting events including British Swimming and European Para Table Tennis—events that were strategically supported by the Council—the Council’s Economic Development and Skills Committee voted to create a ‘proactive major events plan’ to bring more events to Sheffield.
The events sector is a large contributor to the economy. In 2022, the events sector was worth £42.3 billion across the UK. Over the same year, the Council has calculated that its major events programme was worth £25.6 million to the city’s economic success.
A study commissioned by The FA, UEFA and UK Sport found that Sheffield as a host city of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 benefited from an £8.3 million boost to the local economy. The three events hosted in Sheffield brought in thousands of fans from across Europe, as well as inspiring hundreds more women and girls locally to get into football.
Analysis found that on the weekend of Sheffield’s opening fixture between Netherlands and Sweden, city centre footfall increased by more than 10,000 (22%), and all of the city’s hotel rooms were fully booked. Videos of the pedestrianised Division Street during that time show how local bars and restaurants were benefitted.
Councillor Minesh Parekh, Labour lead for Economic Development, Culture and Skills, said:
“Events are a cornerstone of our economic growth. The Council has a strong track record of bringing in some of the top events worldwide—including the Women’s Euros and Men’s Rugby World Cup—as well as helping launch fantastic events like Tramlines.
“At a critical time for our hospitality sector, with businesses impacted by the pandemic and rising costs of fuel and inflation, we must do all we can to bolster footfall. Hosting even more cultural, music and sporting events is one key way we can fill hotel rooms, bars and restaurant tables, and help our whole city thrive.
“Sheffield city centre is on the up – and we are ambitious to host major events, and channel the benefits that brings back to our hospitality sector.”
At the same committee meeting on 8 November, Cllr Parekh proposed the Committee look into how an even higher proportion of money from hosting events can be locked into the local economy and deliver benefits for local businesses.
At the same meeting, Councillors took the decision to adopt a new Destination Management Plan, which looks to build a better and more productive visitor economy sector for the city. Events are a central objective for that plan, with the city looking to host more events to grow the sector and economy.
The visitor economy already makes a significant contribution to the city; in 2022, visitor spending brought in an estimated £1.35 billion and supported 13,285 full-time jobs in Sheffield.
Councillors also hope to increase the number of major conferences held in the city, with these already being associated with an estimated spend of £141.8m at local venues as of 2019.