Community Boost project - boosting the growth of good employment

Community Boost Central was a project funded by the UK government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. It included a wide range of projects which ran through spring and summer 2022. These were designed to help boost the growth of good employment and ensure local people access it.

The projects were open to residents and businesses in the central area council area of Barnsley. This covers the wards of:

  • Central
  • Dodworth
  • Kingstone
  • Stairfoot
  • Worsbrough

The programme supported our vision for Barnsley - the place of possibilities.

We learned a lot through this work in the central area of Barnsley. Now we want to build on this to help boost communities right across our borough. This will help us build a healthy, growing, learning and more sustainable Barnsley.

Outcomes of the programme

As a result of the eight month programme, by working with a range of partners:

  • we helped 564 people engage in life skills
  • we helped 33 people find a new job  
  • we helped 229 people engage in job searching
  • nine new businesses were created
  • we safeguarded 23 jobs as a result of support
  • we worked with volunteers to renovate more than 18 sq km of green space
  • we helped 44 economically inactive people engage with the benefits system

The projects

The projects fitted into four groups, which were:

  • supporting people into employment
  • investing in skills
  • supporting businesses
  • supporting communities and place

Among more than 15 different projects was a series of 'have a go' sessions. Here people were able to develop a wide range of skills, including:

  • bricklaying
  • floristry
  • cake making
  • fork-lift truck driving

The free courses helped people try something new or develop a skill. In some cases this has started the journey for people into a new career.

The Grow Mentoring project gave pupils in years 10 to 13 the chance to work with a role-model they could relate to. These were in the form of recent graduates from Sheffield Hallam University or the University of Sheffield. The mentors helped guide, champion and inspire the pupils, who had seen their education disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Net Zero Accelerator programme has given support to dozens of local businesses to help them cut their carbon emissions. Run by The Business Village, it's helped 35 key employers start work on environmentally friendly action plans. This is helping them reduce their impact on the environment as well as growing their business.

Hear more about the projects

You can watch some of the highlights from three of the projects in this video:

You can also hear from some of the people involved in the projects, including some of our residents. This video was filmed at an event marking the end of the project in October 2022:

More about the Community Renewal Fund

The UK Community Renewal Fund was a UK government programme for 2021/22. It aimed to support people and communities most in need across the UK. It piloted programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invested in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

For more details, visit the Community Renewal Fund webpage on GOV.UK.