The economy and the mainstream of British cities
paper:The economy and the mainstream of British cities?
Sheffield is a large city located in South Yorkshire, England. As a city with abundant classical music heritage, Sheffield shares common trends but also differs from other UK cities in certain aspects. Its biggest success is to combine tourism with such music heritage and to bring the music industry into the next level. This article will provide detailed comparison in terms of historical background, economy and major industry, cultural strategies, and social identity between Sheffield and other cities in the UK, such as Manchester, London or Birmingham.
Sheffield is located in central England with a population of more than 540,000. It is the UKs fourth largest city. Being in the center of Britains railway and highway network, its traffic is very convenient. As a city of famous education and multiple cultures, Sheffield™s biggest industry used to be the steel industry but gradually shifts towards a cultural renaissance.
Like many cities in Britain, Sheffield has a long tradition of the manufacturing industry that nurtured the working class who entertain by the form on music and avant-garde performance.
Like other cities, Sheffield went through de-industrialization during the 80s. While many cities draws competition between each other by attracting new investment opportunities and forming business integration, Sheffield recognizes that establishing a key industry around music falls along with its development schemes. Its development of the Cultural Industry Quarter (CIQ) as a reaction of the declination of steel industry and prosperity of local music bands prompted the City Council to think of cultural industry as a new growing sector (Brown, OConnor, & Cohen, 2000). Buildings were renovated into studios and rehearsal facilities for adapting the music industry, following with the opening of the National Centre for Popular Music (NCPM) as a visitor attraction (Brown, OConnor, & Cohen, 2000). The fact that Sheffield has this council-supported music industry is crucial because it not only promotes the city™s economy, but also helps build up its image.
Popular music is a cultural strategy for many of the British cities, such as Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham, but especially in Sheffield. When fans go visit these cities, they will associate the experience with the musicians from there and participate in a variety of music scenes™ with great satisfaction (Long, 2014). In the current economic landscape of globalization, the right cultural strategy is crucial for a city™s social development. In Sheffield™s case, it has a marketing campaign called Creative Sheffield™ which developed programs focusing on music and cultural legacy, focusing on local artists, music festival venues, and music scenes (Long, 2014). This could help attract more tourists who share the same value in terms of music and culture. Meanwhile, it also help on transforming the traditional music industry which is being crushed by internet digitalization.
Manchester, which is also a city known for pop music and bands, has a slightly different approach and cultural pattern.
London™s main cultural strategy lies in the combination of landscape and buildings. The most obvious culture attraction in London is the Royal Family and related heritage.
In terms of social identity, surveys were conducted among a certain groups of musicians who had recorded and performed in different British cities. According to one of the famous Sheffield producer who has worked with many well-known artists, Sheffield is a city without distractions from public and media attention, whereas in other major cities he has experienced such problem (Long, 2014). The interviewee also praised Sheffield for having affordable and accessible music facilities for recording and rehearsal purposes compared with London, and the local government supports these facilities as we have discussed in the beginning of this article. Other interviewees claim that the music industry in Sheffield has nice resources and networks, which are surrounded with a cool, non-surveillance atmosphere (Long, 2014).