Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 551,800 and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third largest English district by population.
During the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for steel production. Many innovations were developed locally, including crucible and stainless steel, fuelling an almost tenfold increase in the population during the Industrial Revolution. International competition in iron and steel caused a decline in traditional local industries during the 1970s and 1980s, coinciding with the collapse of coal mining in the area.
After many years of decline, the Sheffield economy is going through a strong revival. The 2004 Barclays Bank Financial Planning study revealed that, in 2003, the Sheffield district of Hallam was the highest ranking area outside London for overall wealth, the proportion of people earning over £60,000 a year standing at almost 12%. A survey by Knight Frank revealed that Sheffield was the fastest-growing city outside London for office and residential space and rents during the second half of 2004. This can be seen by the current surge of redevelopments, including the City Lofts Tower and accompanying St Paul's Place, Velocity Living, and the Moor redevelopment, the forthcoming NRQ and the recently completed Winter Gardens, Peace Gardens, Millennium Galleries, and many projects under the Sheffield One redevelopment agency. The Sheffield economy grew from £5.6 billion in 1997 (1997 GVA) to £9.2 billion in 2007 (2007 GVA).
The "UK Cities Monitor 2008" placed Sheffield among the top ten "best cities to locate a business today", the city occupying third and fourth places respectively for best office location and best new call centre location. The same report places Sheffield in third place regarding "greenest reputation" and second in terms of the availability of financial incentives.
In 2011 it was announced that Sheffield will become an enterprise zone, which will help small businesses in the region to increase economic growth.
The 21st century has seen extensive redevelopment in Sheffield along with other British cities. Sheffield's gross value added (GVA) has increased by 60% since 1997, standing at £9.2 billion in 2007. The economy has experienced steady growth averaging around 5% annually, greater than that of the broader region of Yorkshire and the Humber.
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