First projects from £23.1m Towns Fund investment complete

The first wave of projects as part of more than £23.1m investment in Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Bolton upon Dearne through the Towns Fund have been completed.

An exciting and ambitious £23.1m investment in the future of the Dearne was approved by the government in March. It followed the submission of a Town Investment Plan prepared by the Goldthorpe Town Board designed to help attract jobs and economic investment to the area, improve the local street scene and attractiveness of the High Street, improve local housing and develop better transport links.

The £23.1m will fund six key projects and detailed business cases for these projects are currently being prepared before the funds can be released from government. However, a series of early intervention projects have already been completed thanks to £500,000 of Towns Fund accelerated funding which was released before the full £23.1m grant was approved.

All of these projects were drawn up in response to local priorities and fit into the themes identified in the Town Investment Plan: Growing Goldthorpe; Connecting Goldthorpe; Developing Goldthorpe; Placemaking Goldthorpe.

The projects completed via the £500,000 early intervention funding include:  

  • a new Tiny Forest which is helping mitigate the effects of climate change, support urban wildlife and reconnect people with nature.
  • accessible active travel routes through Phoenix Park.
  • further improvements to the Embankment Project green space.
  • the purchase of the former Horse and Groom Pub ready for its demolition and redevelopment of the site as part of the main Towns Fund projects.
  • the first phase of relocating the market into a more prominent High Street location, again as part of the wider Towns Fund projects.

The Goldthorpe Town Deal Board is made up of local residents, interests and representatives. Derek Bramham, chairman of the board, said: “These significant investments which have already been completed are just the beginning of this extremely exciting Towns Fund journey we’re now on.

“When we talk about the huge sums of money and the promise of investment on this scale, it can sometimes feel like something way off in the distance, but it’s already happening, and the projects and benefits are only going to get bigger.

“Investment of this scale requires careful planning with spend targeted on the areas that will deliver the most benefit for the local area. We carried out consultation to help shape the plan, and a huge amount of work has been done to pull together proposals which both meet the criteria of the fund, and which help attract jobs and economic investment to the area, improve the local street scene, improve local housing and develop better transport links – the priorities which we identified following consultation with local people.

“However, there is still opportunity for local people to contribute their thoughts, comments and ideas, and each of the main projects will include some consultation to help further shape these projects.”

A consultation is currently underway to help gather people’s views about the future of the Horse and Groom site, which is earmarked for a new town square. Anyone can complete the survey on the Barnsley Council website, just search Barnsley Council Have Your Say and follow the link to the Goldthorpe Town Square Development Consultation.

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