Why Sheffield the best place to live for young professionals

One of the most up and coming, vibrant cities in the North, Sheffield is ‘the place’ for young professionals to be.

Globally known as “The Steel City”, Sheffield is known for its role in the 1900s industrial revolution and has a population of over 1.5 million.

Sheffield has had a complete city-wide renovation and now you’ll find a modern skyline mixed with Sheffield’s most historic buildings against the stunning backdrop of the Peaks.

The city is said to be one of the friendliest, independent and alternative places to live. Sheffield has lots to offer – thriving arts and music, perfectly located and packed with opportunities.

Booming industries

Over the years, Sheffield’s employment has peaked, this is largely due to the popularity of the growing engineering sector and the fast-growing digital and technology industries. It’s one of the best-connected cities in the UK, sitting at the heart of a number of investment and regeneration programmes. It’s clear to see why Sheffield is fast becoming one of the most desirable destinations in the UK for new businesses.

Sheffield is a central part of The Northern Powerhouse programme. This ambitious undertaking has the aim of bringing together the cities, towns and rural communities in the North with the aim of improving productivity, investment, connections and the overall economy of the region. Due to this, the city has welcomed a number of globally renowned engineering and manufacturing businesses such as McLaren, Boeing and Sheffield Forgemasters.

Last year it was reported that digital companies within Sheffield boasted one of the highest growth rates of any area in the UK, with turnover increasing close to 50% year on year. The report by the University of Sheffield also found that the top 25 tech companies in Sheffield City Region alone employ more than 12,000 people and bring in more than £2 billion a year. The city is expected to see the digital industry rapidly expand over the next couple of years. There are already plans for a new huge tech hub to take over the old Co-op. The Kollider will also bring together some of Sheffield’s biggest names to run the food hall and have space for 1,100 people to work.

These growing industries are on the cusp of something big. Making Sheffield the centre for innovation, technology and creativity.

Career benefits

The booming industries have opened a wide range of benefits and opportunities for young professionals in the area.

Sheffield’s number of jobs has increased by 42.5% over the last year and it has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the UK, according to the Resolution Foundation. In the recent ‘Best Places in the UK to Make a Living’ survey conducted by Totally Money (via the Independent), Sheffield scored above London and Manchester. The survey considers salary and living cost, job growth and unemployment from all the cities in the UK.

The city has an increasing number of networking and business events to give you the platform to meet like-minded people and chat with CEOs and Directors in the area. These events are a great place to raise your profile and get your name out there. This year alone Sheffield has already welcomed the CBI dinner, several accountancy conferences, and leadership workshops. You can find all the events in Sheffield here.


Sheffield is famous for its cultural scene, from live music to award-winning musicals, exclusive art exhibits to its heritage.

Stretching beyond the talent of Pulp and Arctic Monkeys, the city is home to one of the biggest UK festivals. Last year’s Tramlines festival saw the likes of Stereophonics, Clean Bandit and Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds take to the stage.

You’ll never be short of live music in Sheffield. The city centre has a multi-stage O2 Academy, a number of smaller live music venues and if you take the tram for 15 minutes, you’ll get to the DSA Fly Arena which has been host to some of the world’s top artists and performances.

Sheffield Doc/Fest drives filmmakers, industry professionals, and fans from all over the world to Sheffield. The internationally acclaimed festival is the UK’s biggest documentary film festival and third largest in the world.

Did you know that Sheffield has the largest theatre group outside of London? The Crucible, Lyceum and Studio have played host to many award-winning West End performances and independently run workshops. Plus, every year the World Snooker Championship is played at the Crucible attracting thousands to the city.

The Millennium Gallery, Graves and Sheffield Institute of Arts are just a few of the flagship art galleries Sheffield has to offer Welcoming big touring exhibitions, metalwork displays, and the Ruskin Collection. Beyond the main galleries, the creativity just keeps going, it runs deep within Sheffield, with over 20 smaller galleries and an extensive list of hidden theatres.

If you like something different to do, you can take a trip down memory lane at the National Video Games museum.

The yearly Festival of Debate brings a range of prestigious speakers to Sheffield covering topics ranging from politics, economics and society. Similarly, the week-long Festival of the Mind, run by the University of Sheffield, brings together academics and experts from cultural and creative industries covering talks, performances, exhibitions and interactive events for everyone in the city to enjoy and learn from.


Wanting to party all hours or looking for a few places for cocktails? Sheffield has a lively nightlife scene which is packed all year round.

The city centre is the central place where the nightlife takes place. The compactness of the city centre is just perfect for a night out, especially if you want to experience a variety of clubs just next to each other.

West Street, Carver Street and Division Street lead on to each other to provide the main strip of bars and pubs, though each street maintains its own character.

Away from the main streets, Leopold Square offers a group of vibrant restaurants and bars, where you'll also find live outdoor music and salsa dancing every weekend during the summer.

Living costs

You’d think that a city offering everything Sheffield has to offer would have a hefty price tag attached, you’d be wrong. Sheffield has around a 10% lower cost of living than most cities in the UK.

Average house price in Sheffield is £150,000 for a three-bedroom, semi-detached property in the centre. Commuters can also take advantage of a low-cost travel pass for the bus and tram for around £55 for a month. In Manchester the same ticket will set you back £70 and London can cost you around £200 a month. Not just this but the council tax, cost of entertainment and monthly household spend is all generally lower than most cities in the UK.


The future of Sheffield will be working with the strengths of the city. Building on the innovation and enterprise, the city is expected to grow its engineering and manufacturing sector through maximising the local impact of investments and improving the skills gap by providing better education for the people within the city.

Last year, there were plans released for a full redevelopment of most of the city centre. Including a £65m Chinatown development, a new leisure area which would house hotels, shops and food halls, and the continuing work at Kelham Island.

Sheffield is only at the start of what is set to be a bright, and energetic city. If you would like to know more about Sheffield and what opportunities it could have for you – check out our recent vacancies https://www.elevationrecruitmentgroup.com/job-list

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