The Principal Towns Investment Programme welcomes phase two

Proposals for phase two of the Principal Towns Investment Programme will be presented for Cabinet’s consideration at their next meeting on Wednesday 7 October. 

The report seeks approval for £1.5 million in capital funding to establish the programme and support the development of place-shaping proposals for the Principal Towns of Cudworth, Royston, Hoyland, Penistone and Wombwell, as well as regeneration proposals for local centres. This funding will allow the project team to develop the business cases and prepare ambitious schemes, so that additional funding can then be secured to deliver them.

Funding will also be sought for an extension to the shop front improvement scheme as part of the council’s COVID-19 economic recovery of high streets in the borough. Demand for the scheme has remained high during COVID-19 period, which provides a clear indication that the initiative is playing a key role in our local recovery. If approved, an additional £200,000 funding will see 50 additional shops being supported with a further £50,000 invested by businesses through their own match funding. This will give a total investment of up to £5,000 per shop unit. It will also provide additional opportunities to support local businesses in the commissioning of this work. 

Phase one has seen several successes that support local priorities, including:  

  • five master plans that highlight the short and long-term priorities of each area  
  • 26 completed projects   
  • 35 schemes are currently in delivery  
  • two active business forums within Principal Towns are helping to drive forward high streets in those areas  
  • four new community groups are taking pride to improve their local area with over 2,000 volunteer hours dedicated for the scheme, through the support of 14 existing community groups  
  • 11 per cent of the overall programme value has been supported with match funding  
  • 67 per cent of spend directly supporting local businesses 
  • 199 upgrades for the shop front scheme have been complete or in agreement, and £325,312 in match funding has been secured   

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Phase one of the Principal Towns Programme provided great opportunities to invest in communities to develop assets and town spirit in the area, in turn creating better places to live, work, invest and visit. Proposals for phase two of the programme, if approved, would align to existing local area priorities and support emerging Barnsley 2030 aspirations.

"Developing local economies has always been the heart of the programme, however, since the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) it’s even more important that residents, communities and businesses directly benefit from local growth activity.” 

To find more information about the report, view the cabinet paper.

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