Capitalising on its unique industrial heritage the opportunities for space in Sheffield are varied, ranging from premium commercial space to the adopted refurbishment of older heritage places to purpose-built places in previous industrial premises.
Sheffield has seen the opening up of significant commercial spaces that have been either designed specifically for creative & digital firms, or simply adopted by companies in this field. Spaces such as Harland Works, Globe Works, the Workstation, Electric Works, Krynkl, Little Kelham and Park Hill, amongst a range of others, have provided a range of property options for growing businesses of various sizes and budgets.
The Kelham Island Quarter is being touted by some as the “Shoreditch of Sheffield”; it certainly has the rough and ready feel of Shoreditch in 2010, attractive to a young and ambitious demographic, and with the buzz of a place on the move.
Sheffield’s thriving digital community is supported by Sheffield Digital, a volunteer-led organisation that connects, promotes and represents the people and businesses who make up Sheffield’s digital industries.
Established in 2015 as a Company Limited by Guarantee, the organisation has become the first place that people go to when they want to engage with Sheffield’s digital businesses or make connections with potential collaborators. Sheffield Digital’s growing membership includes many of the city’s leading tech companies as well as a wide cross section of smaller software companies, digital agencies and development houses.
The organisation works closely with both Sheffield Universities, the Sheffield College and the rest of Sheffield’s education system, to help develop a strong talent pipeline for the industry. It also helps promote the many tech meetups that take place every month.
https://sheffield.digital provides a constant flow of news, as well as a jobs board, events calendar and information about local skills initiatives and other sources of business support.
The Tech Sector in Sheffield
Sheffield has an ambitious and ever-expanding digital tech sector. In September 2016, it was reported that there are 5,495 technology companies across the Sheffield City Region, the largest 25 of which have a combined turnover of just under £2b, employing 12,657 people.
Sheffield & Rotherham was identified in the Tech Nation 2017 report as one of seven “tech clusters” in the North of England. In Sheffield, the increase in number of digital tech businesses from 2011 to 2015 was 27%, and there were over 160 digital tech businesses formed in 2015 alone.
Overall, the digital tech sector in Sheffield is varied and pushing down boundaries, with some large homegrown technology firms such as PlusNet (Turnover: £267m); Insight Direct (Turnover: £438m); and Servelec (Turnover £63.1m). There is also significant presence from a number of international tech firms, such as ARM, who manufacture semiconductors and who employ 60 people in Sheffield; Autodesk, the American multinational software corporation that makes software across a wide range of industries; and Ansys, a computer aided engineering software development firm.