Barnsley To Introduce New Age-Friendly Project

Barnsley Council is set to launch a new Age-Friendly project, making the town more age-friendly.

Like the rest of the UK, Barnsley’s population is ageing, with 40% of people aged 50 or older. Ensuring that town centre facilities, shops and venues welcoming to everyone is vitally important to Barnsley’s communities.

The first phase of the Age-Friendly project will focus primarily within The Glass Works, Barnsley’s flagship retail and leisure town centre development. The ambition is to expand the project into other town centre venues and the wider borough as part of the Age-Friendly Communities Programme.

Tenants of The Glass Works will be invited to be part of the project and will be supported to achieve the Barnsley Age-Friendly accreditation. This accreditation will demonstrate to the public the range of steps that are being taken to make sure visitors' experience of The Glass Works is positive.

Cllr Robin Franklin, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Our towns and cities need to ensure that urban centres remain accessible to all, including older adults as the UK’s average age continues to increase.

“In Barnsley, we are committed to being at the forefront of this initiative, being a place leader by tackling ageism, reducing stigma, and taking action to reduce the inequalities people experience as they grow older.

“This project is a wonderful step at making Barnsley the best place to grow old, but it is something that needs to be replicated across the country.”

The UK population is ageing, with the number of people 65 and over in Yorkshire and the Humber predicted to grow by around a third between 2020 and 2040 (ONS, 2020; ONS, 2021).

As a member of the UK Age-Friendly Network, Barnsley has committed to implementing the Age-Friendly Communities principles developed by the World Health Organisation across its plan.

The Age-Friendly Communities principles involve improving cleanliness, noise levels and green spaces in town centres, while also creating rest areas, reducing hazards, and creating cohesive and integrated spaces where all communities can feel safe to enjoy their experiences.

Barnsley Council has designed this project collaboratively with The Glass Works, Age UK Barnsley, BIADS (Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support) and The Foot Health Practice, the first tenant of The Glass Works to sign up for the accreditation.

Cllr Franklin added: “By understanding the specific needs of the older population, we can begin to take appropriate actions to improve the health of older adults and reduce inequalities.

“We have a strategic commitment as a town to create Dementia-Friendly neighbourhoods and communities. The Age-Friendly Communities approach will further complement this action going forward.”

To find out more about Age-Friendly communities, visit their website.

A - Z Directory