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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

David McLeavy

Our Favourite Places would be nothing without our contributors — a massive thanks to all of them!

Tell us about you…
Well I was born not too far from here in Hull and then I moved over to Sheffield to study at the art school and fell in love with the city. I am an artist, writer and curator and I run a few different projects including being the co-director of Picnic Picnic, a residency and exhibitions programme in the city. Aside from the arts my main passion is to be out in the Peak District on two wheels. I have learnt to love the hills and there is no better feeling than the freedom of the bike and the fresh air on a Sunday.

What does Sheffield mean to you?
Local, friendly and busy. There are so many people who really take the initiative and start up their own projects and businesses, whether that is a successful artisan coffee shop, a contemporary art space, a record label or even a custom bike builders, the people of Sheffield are never scared to do it themselves!

What’s your favourite Sheffield place?
As always it is so hard to choose! I would have to say one of my favourite places is Encore on Abbeydale Road. I remember popping in a year or so ago, just after it opened, and I spent about and hour talking with the lady who runs it. Not only is she a fountain of knowledge but the range of rare books, postcards and ceramics is fantastic. I can never go in and leave empty handed. [Update: Encore is sadly now closed!]

What would you do to improve the city?
I think it’s important for Sheffield to keep hold of the smaller businesses and organisations that exist within the city, many of which have been set up by locals or graduates from the university. Perhaps a less aggressive re-development attitude from the powers above would ensure we keep the creative inspiration flowing.

Latest contributions

Sidney + Matilda

A gallery, bar and social club out to challenge the art world's hierarchical models, set up by artist-curator Al Daw on the edge of the Cultural Industries Quarter.

Construction House: Radical Materials

Thu. 21 February 2019 — Sat. 20 April 2019

S1 Artspace

The final exhibition in S1 Artspace's Bauhaus-inspired series focuses on the practical workshops held at the influential school, which brought together creativity and experimentation with materials with industrial manufacturing processes.


Thu. 14 February 2019 — Sun. 24 March 2019

Yorkshire Artspace

An open-door residency and exhibition of new ceramic work by Penny Withers, inspired by Peak District rock formations.

Sense of Place

Sun. 27 January 2019 — Mon. 11 February 2019

Yellow Arch Studios

A close look at how we define, navigate and care for the spaces we find ourselves living in, held in Sheffield's most characterful new gallery.