We’re delighted to announce local business leader Edward Naylor has been appointed to chair a new board to help plan almost £20m investment into Barnsley.
The government announced in October a new Long-Term Plan for Towns which aims to bring together community leaders, businesspeople, and local bodies to forge their town’s future together. This is supported by £20m investment over ten years from the government.
The government has stated this money must be spent in the historic ‘Barnsley Town’ area which includes the town centre and some surrounding residential areas, and a plan for how to spend the money needs to be drawn up by summer 2024.
A new board is being developed to help steer this work and Edward Naylor has been appointed to lead it.
Edward is Chief Executive and majority shareholder of Naylor Industries plc, a Barnsley-based fourth-generation family manufacturing business, whose seven factories include sites in Cawthorne, Wombwell and Barugh Green. The original company was established in 1890 as a manufacturer of clay drainage pipes, but the company has since diversified and grown to become a global provider of plastic and concrete products- primarily for construction- employing some 400 people.
The board will also include other local business leaders, as well as representatives from local charities and community groups.
The criteria of the funding require it to be spent across three key themes, which include:
- Safety and security - this may include measures to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour, while increasing footfall and activity in the town centre.
- High streets, heritage and regeneration – this could help diversify the use of buildings as part of the ongoing changing use of town centres, helping increase the attractiveness and accessibility of the town centre and supporting business.
- Transport and connectivity – this can help fund highways infrastructure projects as well as increasing active travel solutions to encourage more people to travel on foot, by bicycle, wheelchair or scooter.
The investment will also help work towards our four key ambitions for Barnsley by 2030, which are for a Healthy Barnsley, Learning Barnsley, Growing Barnsley and Sustainable Barnsley.
The initial plan is for the board to follow a similar model to the one established in the Dearne, where the Goldthorpe Town Board is overseeing a £23.1m investment from the Government’s Towns Fund.
Edward said: “I’m delighted to have accepted the offer to lead the board which will deliver this historic investment into Barnsley. I’m proud to be from Barnsley and have enjoyed seeing the fantastic transformation of the town centre in recent years.
“We have got a tremendous opportunity to bring together local leaders, business people and community groups and to get input from local people to create the best possible plan we can to make the most of this investment for the people of Barnsley.”
Leader of Barnsley Council Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE said: “I think everyone is starting to realise that it’s time to believe in the possibilities of Barnsley, to look to the future with excitement and optimism. We have a fantastic town centre, and an ambitious programme of investment work in our Principal Towns and Local Centres across Barnsley which is helping local high streets thrive across the borough.
“Government has decided where this latest investment can be spent, and through this new board we’ll make sure that it helps us continue to grow opportunities for local people in Barnsley, particularly in our town centre and in the local communities who live in and around it.”
Development of the board will be continuing in the new year, and it is hoped the first board meeting will take place in March 2024. A town plan outlining how the board intends to use the money will be completed by the end of Summer 2024.