Voted the happiest city in Britain in a 2013 poll, the city taking its name from the River Sheaf running through it has a lot to celebrate.
It is part of the Core Cities group whose cities contribute more than a quarter of the combined wealth of England, Wales and Scotland. There has been above-average employment growth in recent years in managerial, professional, technical occupations and sales.
Sheffield is fast becoming a centre for digital and new media, seeing the highest growth of all Core Cities between 1998 and 2007. The suburb of Hallam is one of the wealthiest areas of the UK.
The largest employers are now all in the public sector: the universities, NHS, and national and local government employees. The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2014 ranked the University of Sheffield 1st for student experience, social life, university facilities and accommodation, among other categories.
Sheffield gained its reputation as a leading producer of steel in the nineteenth century. But the city has been the home of cutlery since as early as the fourteenth century thanks to its coal, iron ore and sandstone resources together with five rivers flowing through the area.
Trams were introduced to Sheffield in 1873, and they were later upgraded to electric trams in 1899. In 1994, so-called Supertrams were introduced, giving the city one of the UK’s most advanced tram networks.
Sheffield F.C. is the world's oldest independent football club, and it was founded in 1857. The world's first ever floodlit football match took place at Bramall Lane on 14 October 1878 in front of 20,000 spectators.
With over 2 million trees, Sheffield has the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe. There are more than 250 parks, woodlands and gardens in the city. A third of the city is located within the Peak District national park, and a total of 61 per cent of it is green space.
Environmentally conscious, Sheffield has a programme to burn waste and convert it to electricity. The resulting hot water is distributed through 40 km of pipes to shops, restaurants, hospitals and the two universities.
Don’t be surprised if a stranger calls you ‘love’ or ‘duck’ in Sheffield: they are common forms of address for a person whose name the speaker does not know. In Sheffield, ‘dinner’ means what ‘lunch’ means elsewhere in the UK, and ‘tea’ is your evening meal, and not a cup of tea!
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