Living and working in Barnsley

Situated to the east of the Pennines, Barnsley is a borough of contrasts, consisting of 10 towns and 23 villages. From the Pennine uplands, it extends eastwards over a varied landscape of wooded valleys, rolling farmland and dispersed towns and villages of the former Yorkshire coalfield.

Much of it is rural and semi-rural in character. Its population of 227,000 is spread over 320 square kilometres (127 square miles), with Penistone in the west, 10 kilometres (6 miles) from Barnsley town centre and 22 kilometres (14 miles) from Goldthorpe in the east.

Two large cities are within easy travelling distance by road and rail; Leeds 40 kilometres (25 miles) to the north and Sheffield 27 kilometres (17 miles) to the south, reflecting Barnsley’s position within two city regions.

Geographically, the borough divides into three distinct areas:

  • Lying mainly to the west of the M1 motorway is the lightly populated, attractive hilly country centred on the market town of Penistone and two former coal mining villages, Dodworth and Darton, which cover half of the total borough. A relatively affluent area, pockets of disadvantage are nevertheless scattered throughout
  • In the centre lies the urban core of Barnsley. Long famous for its market, Barnsley town centre is the borough’s main shopping, administrative, commercial and entertainment centre. This is exemplified by recent developments such as the Digital Media Centre, the Core, Gateway Plaza and the Civic. Projects such as Marketplace Barnsley will continue to transform the skyline over the next few years
  • Dispersed towns and villages, separated by open land, surround the urban core to the north, south and east

Barnsley has a lot to offer everyone who lives and works here. Barnsley has a vibrant town centre, with a cosmopolitan mix of cafés, theatres, museums, art galleries and hotels.

Barnsley’s sports and leisure facilities are also superb. There is also the town's renowned 700-year-old market and plenty of high street stores for shoppers.

Find out more about visiting Barnsley.

Our vision

Barnsley the place of possibilities

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