Cabinet approve Digital Campus plans thanks to Future High Street Funding

Exciting news as Barnsley Council’s Cabinet has approved the £15.6m of Future High Street Funding to support the development of The Seam, Barnsley’s Digital Campus, as well as a range of projects which will help Barnsley recover from the impact of the pandemic and drive long term growth of the town centre.

The Seam is currently home to two digital business hubs powered by the council (DMC 01 and DMC 02) which offer premium office space and state of the art facilities, including co-working space and fully equipped ‘Maker Lab’ for hands-on tech innovation and collaborative working.

See more about the plans for the Digital Campus in the animation video here.

The expansion and development of the campus will build on the success and international reputation for tech business innovation which has been developed over the last ten years and the £2.5m refurbishment of DMC02, which has been backed by Sheffield City Region.

Over the next few months, a development blueprint for the expansion of The Seam will be progressed for consultation and will see The Seam create opportunities for further growth, collaboration, up-skilling, quality housing development and green open space in the heart of the town centre.

Barnsley is one of 72 authorities receiving a share of the £830m as part of the government’s levelling agenda. The funding will be used to develop The Seam, on the site at County Way, expanding the town centre the development of The Glass Works, improving the gateway sites into the town centre.

The investment will also help fund:

Digital Campus Enabling Infrastructure – highway, utility and remediation works which will enable the wider development of the Courthouse site to proceed.

a new Active Travel Hub at The Seam to help encourage more people to cycle, scooter or run and walk into the town centre alongside a new multi-storey car park on the campus site;

changes to Midland Street creating a turning head at the junction of Kendray Street, the closure of Kendray Street to vehicles;

changes to the junction between Eldon Street and Midland Street with public realm improvements including the demolition of the former fish and chip shop at 35 Eldon Street;

improvements to safe walking and vehicle access with new bollards at various locations across the town to restrict vehicle movements in pedestrian areas;

a contribution towards the Glass Works leisure and restaurant block;

a contribution towards the new Glass Works Square;

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “We’re delighted to approve the funding to enable the important development of The Seam.

“We know how challenging the last year has been for businesses and residents in Barnsley. This investment through the Future High Street Fund will accelerate the recovery of our town centre and help us all adapt to the changes the pandemic has brought.

“The Seam is already in development with DMC 01 and 02, as well as the improved site at the Sci Tech Innovation Hub as part of the college. It’s a hotbed of creative and digital business talent. We want to nurture that, expand it, and provide high quality jobs and businesses for our young people, as well as high quality housing and space for them to enjoy in their leisure time. This will ensure more of the next generation choose to build lives for themselves here in their home town, as well as attracting new investment, jobs and businesses to relocate to Barnsley.”

David Akeroyd, Deputy Principal – Development and Productivity at Barnsley College, said “It’s great news for Barnsley and our community that this investment is being made. Investing in our digital skills and addressing skills gaps is very important as we rebuild the economy and meet the skills needs of the future."

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