Shalesmoor, Kelham Island and Neepsend are a triumvirate of thriving communities. For over a century, the industrial heartland of the city has churned out a conveyor belt of history, a wealth of heritage which shapes Sheffield’s identity to this day. Today the area retains its manufacturing traditions, but new methods of production in the artistic spheres have joined them in the arena, complementing toil with technology and invention with innovation in art, music and the cutting edge of culture.
At its molten core is the power which has driven the region since its inception – monolithic warehouses, industrial architecture and the unmistakable River Don, the city’s central artery adding a uniquely accessible natural hue to the otherwise urban environs. The river brings life to the industry and inspiration to the creative community which has sprung up on its fertile banks.
That source of life is evident in ways other than manufacturing output. Population of the three areas has increased tenfold in the last decade, with growth elsewhere to match. Next to cutlers’ workshops stand art galleries, by warehouses are recording studios, and alongside experienced industrial artisans is a generation of talented people eager to write their own chapter in the region’s rich history.
Artists’ collectives, theatre companies and enticing restaurants share the streets with nationally-acclaimed breweries, master craftsmen and repair shops, but there is no struggle between the spheres. Shalesmoor, Kelham Island and Neepsend instead provide a space in which there is unique co-operation between heritage and renovation, a mindset which looks both respectfully backwards whilst charging headlong into a glowing neon future. Whatever the interest, there is something in the area to quench its curiosity, making the three regions most attractive for work, leisure and life as a whole.