Barnsley 2030

It's time to believe in the possibilities of Barnsley; to look to the future with excitement and optimism. Our borough is a place that fosters and grows ambition, enabling everyone to be the best they can be.

The Barnsley 2030 programme sets out our long-term vision for Barnsley and how we will work together to achieve it. It’s about celebrating and championing our borough, and we're looking ahead to 2030 as we feel this will give us enough time to make some real progress in achieving our bold ambitions.

Read how we plan to grow Barnsley in our delivery plan.

Our Growing Barnsley delivery plan

Executive summary

Barnsley 2030 is designed to be a true collaboration. It isn’t just about the work of a single individual, organisation, business, group or Board. It’s about what we all do to make our borough the place that it is. Partnership working is key to the success of this project and in the months and years ahead, each of us will be encouraged to consider how we as residents, learners, employees, potential investors or business owners can all contribute to achieving Barnsley’s ambitions.

We have set ourselves a series of challenging targets to meet in our work to continue to improve social, economic and community life in Barnsley by 2030. For Growing Barnsley, these include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • More than 15,500 new jobs will have been created in Barnsley
  • 850 new businesses (start-ups) have commenced operation across Barnsley
  • 400 more businesses have invested in the borough
  • Business survival rates will show sustained improvement, to 75% or above within the first two years
  • Annual footfall in our town centre and wider urban centres will have grown to 10 million
  • An increase in the coverage/availability of gigabit-capable broadband across Barnsley to 100%
  • Over 10,000 new homes to be built in across the borough
  • 15% of these will be ‘affordable homes’

There is a formal structure that directly supports the delivery of the Barnsley 2030 strategy; this includes the Barnsley 2030 Board and the Barnsley 2030 delivery groups and Boards.

All of the above provides a solid foundation for Barnsley’s future; supporting our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and building back towards a better, fairer and more inclusive Barnsley. Sitting alongside 2030 programme is our detailed COVID-19 recovery plan, which outlines the activity that will facilitate our recovery from the pandemic.

Barnsley 2030: Our vision and ambitions

Our approach - Developing the 2030 programme

In developing the Barnsley 2030 programme, we have worked closely with our communities and residents, businesses and organisations across all sectors, and local councillors. This has helped us to make sure that our borough’s vision and ambitions represent everyone who has an interest in the future of Barnsley. We're very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to respond to consultations, attend our engagement events, workshops, focus groups and online events. We'd also like to thank the brilliant community volunteers who supported the engagement phase of the project.

Our official launch event took place on 22 June 2021. This means we have now entered the important implementation phase, and we recognise that it's important for us to keep the conversations going throughout the lifetime of this programme. We truly believe that together, we can tell a better and shared story of our borough, and we have a real opportunity to turn Barnsley into the ‘place of possibilities’.

Our vision – Barnsley ‘the Place of Possibilities’

In Barnsley, we want everyone to have a good life. This means everything from a quality place to call home, to good physical and mental wellbeing and a sense of self-worth through diverse and secure employment opportunities. It's also about having access to the best possible local facilities in a community that values our people and our place.

In Barnsley, we want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, develop new skills and, most importantly, to achieve their personal potential.

Barnsley aims to be an exemplar place to live and a great place to do business. We want to both retain and attract new people and businesses to the area, creating an inclusive and diverse community enriched with skills, knowledge and experiences. We want to meet the needs of today, without compromising the needs of the future and encourage people to connect to each other as well as to our place.

2030 themes and ambitions

We have worked with a small network of partnership groups and boards to develop the four themes which underpin our 2030 programme. Aside from Growing Barnsley, the other three themes are:

Within each of the four themes are four ambitions – namely the key outcomes which will be integral to measuring our success. This is known as our 2030 ‘four by four approach’.

Our ambitions: Healthy Barnsley

  • Everyone is able to enjoy a life in good physical and mental health
  • Fewer people live in poverty and everyone has the resources they need to look after themselves and their families
  • People can access the right support, at the right time and place and are able to tackle problems early
  • Our diverse communities are welcoming, supportive and resilient

Our ambitions: Learning Barnsley

  • Children and young people aim high and achieve their full potential with improved educational achievement and attainment
  • Everyone has the opportunity to create wider social connections and enjoy cultural experiences
  • Lifelong learning is promoted and encouraged, with an increase in opportunities that will enable people to get into, progress at and stay in work
  • Everyone fulfils their learning potential, with more people completing higher-level skills studies than ever before

Our ambitions: Growing Barnsley

  • Local businesses are thriving through early-stage support and opportunities to grow
  • Barnsley is known as a great place to invest, where businesses and organisations provide diverse and secure employment opportunities, contributing to an economy that benefits everyone
  • People have a wider choice of quality, affordable and sustainable housing, to suit their needs and lifestyle
  • Residents, businesses and organisations are more confident in accessing and using digital resources, benefitting all aspects of daily life

Our ambitions: Sustainable Barnsley

  • People live in sustainable communities with reduced carbon emissions and increased access to affordable and sustainable energy sources
  • People can get around in Barnsley easier than ever, with an increase in cycle routes and better connections across the borough
  • Barnsley has increased the amount of renewable energy that is generated within the borough
  • People are proud of and look after their local environment

Our journey to 2030… what will be different in the coming years?

  • A comprehensive focus on inclusive and clean growth
  • Greater emphasis on employment opportunities for all, rather than just at the highly-paid end of the spectrum
  • Better connections between businesses and communities
  • The occupiers of The Glass Works will be in place to set the tone for inclusive and sustainable growth
  • Barnsley’s productivity levels have improved, with GVA per hour worked closing the gap to regional and national averages
  • A focus on ‘lifetime skills’
  • Greater recognition of the unique strength of Barnsley’s independent retail sector and the specific challenges it faces
  • Barnsley will be making progress, at pace, with the Local Plan delivery. This will provide the homes we need, whilst protecting Barnsley’s special character and greenbelt
  • A significant programme of housing delivery will be underway including affordable homes and social housing, to ensure we have the right mix to match the need
  • Joined up and borough-wide approaches to meeting housing need, homelessness and working with people who have complex needs will be in place
  • Significant improvements will have been made to the management and maintenance of the council’s own housing stock, reaching and exceeding the standard of decency
  • Opportunities will have been taken to improve standards and value for money in the private rented sector and reduce the number of empty homes in the borough
  • Work will be well underway to ensure Barnsley’s housing stock is well on the way to achieving zero carbon targets
  • Barnsley’s digital infrastructure will develop, to put us amongst the best connected towns, with an emphasis on access for all
  • Progress towards devolution at a Yorkshire-scale

Selected key metrics

Underpinning our four 2030 themes are a series of agreed ambitions; four for each theme, therefore 16 ambitions in total. Beneath these ambitions sits a comprehensive, but flexible, performance framework of quantitative and qualitative indicators, which we will use as a barometer of performance as we move through the lifespan of the 2030 programme. This framework has been developed in close consultation with theme leads, delivery boards and sub groups across the Council and partners.

When developing/agreeing the metrics, we have set ourselves a series of challenging targets to meet in our work, to continue to improve social, economic and community life in Barnsley by 2030. Our work at 2030 Board will seek to understand particular performance challenges and how we can work in collaboration to deliver tangible actions to achieve our stated ambitions. These headline metrics and targets include, but are not limited to, the following:

Healthy Barnsley

  • Healthy life expectancy will improve for Barnsley residents, and show progress towards narrowing the gap that exists between local and regional/national levels
  • Child poverty levels will reduce. The proportion of children (u16s) living in relative low income families will fall, and narrow the gap that exists between local and regional/national levels
  • The proportion of people with access to services rated as ‘high quality’ by the CQC – both Hospital Services and Primary Care Settings - increases year on year, reducing the gap to the national average
  • There will be sustained improvement in the positive experiences of visiting a healthcare setting in Barnsley, with residents experiencing provision of a ‘joined-up service’

Learning Barnsley

  • Every young person will attend a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ school or early years setting
  • All pre- to post-16 settings will perform consistently above the national average (includes Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Post-16)
  • The percentage of the Barnsley population with a qualification at Level 2 (GCSE) or above will show a sustained increase, to narrow the gap towards, and then surpass, the national average
  • The number of people visiting cultural/heritage sites and museums across Barnsley will double from 1 million to 2 million per annum

Growing Barnsley

  • By 2025, over 8,000 new jobs will have been created in Barnsley since 2020. This will rise to more than 15,500 new jobs by 2030 (A subset of our 39,000 new jobs by 2033 target, as stated in the Jobs and Business Plan 2014-17)
  • 850 new businesses (start-ups, via Enterprising Barnsley support) will have commenced operation across Barnsley (A subset of our 1,600 new businesses by 2033 target, as stated in the Jobs and Business Plan 2014-17), and 400 more businesses will have invested in the borough
  • Business survival rates, in the first two years of operation, will improve to 75% or better
  • Annual footfall in our town centre and urban centres will have grown significantly from a 3.5 million baseline, to ten million
  • Coverage/availability of gigabit-capable broadband across Barnsley will reach 100%
  • At least 12,000 new homes to be built in the borough in the decade to 2030 (This figure represents the period 2022-2030, and is part of the 21,534 new homes as stated in the Local Plan 2019-2033), and 15% of these will be ‘affordable homes’

Sustainable Barnsley

  • Carbon emissions (greenhouse gases) across the borough will have reduced by 80%, on our journey towards net zero by 2045 (As identified in the SEAP)
  • 100 of the borough's largest employers will have implemented an official workplace travel plan. Similarly, 80% of schools in the borough will have official travel plans in place
  • People will be proud of, and look after, their borough. Community volunteering will flourish as residents take pride and ownership of working with services to improve their locality
  • More people than ever before are choosing to use sustainable methods of travel, resulting in modal shift: increase in people cycling (3%), walking (12%), taking the bus or travelling by train (25%), and therefore less people travelling by private car (60%)
  • There will be a sustained increase in the amount of household recycling, both from kerbside collections and at household waste recycling centres

A full suite of metrics and baseline data is provided in Growing Barnsley delivery plan metrics - Appendix 1

Spotlight on… Growing Barnsley

Barnsley is open for business! With our great location, excellent links to road networks, digital connectivity and attractive local offer. There is enormous potential for growth, and our ambitious Local Plan nurtures commercial development and more/better quality jobs to boost our local economy. Our borough is a great place to invest; where businesses and customers support an economy that benefits everyone. Barnsley is the place for entrepreneurship; for establishing thriving start-ups; and for growing local businesses

We are working for Barnsley to become a really inclusive place, where everyone can find suitable employment; a quality, affordable home that’s right for them; and make use of the fast and digital resources that they need.

Our ambition for growth is to ensure Barnsley is a place for investment and opportunity. Barnsley has great growth potential which can be realised through positive partnership working. The area has many competitive advantages which can help encourage business to invest and expand in the area.

Having a strong understanding of the dynamics of the local economy and what is required to unlock growth is the key role which the 2030 Board and delivery partners will lead on. The statutory planning framework, along with the importance of strategic and technological infrastructure are of course fundamental here.

This work is essential in underpinning all of our delivery plans to ensure there are adequate resources and equitable wealth distribution to realise our long term aspirations for the area.

Growing Barnsley: Our key challenges

At the outset of the 2030 programme, we identified a number of key challenges in this particular area. Many of those challenges have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and this has brought about a realignment of priorities as we seek to recover and ‘build back better’ than before. Indeed, whilst some of our challenges are new, some are quite long-standing.

Whilst there have been significant improvements in our local economy in recent times, there remains key areas of poor performance when compared to the national average. Barnsley is still recovering from the impacts of the coalfield closures and associated loss of supply chain industries. The recession of 2008 also impacted significantly on the local economy due to the reliance on manufacturing. This has been further compounded by the impact on the construction industry, which has played a strong role in the local economy too. All of these impacts have collectively meant that the Barnsley area has suffered a period of prolonged contraction, impacting upon wage levels, economic activity levels, enterprise activity and, in turn, social mobility.

Wage levels within Barnsley are still way below the regional and national average with relatively high levels of unemployment / economic activity amongst the working age population. New business start-up rates and business survival rates fall below that of the national average. A weak learning culture (although improving) and outward migration of highly skilled people means that there is currently a lack of skills available for businesses.

We recognise the need for Barnsley’s economy to support the quality of life for all our residents, now and in the future. For economic growth to be inclusive, its benefits must be felt by everyone, regardless of where they live, how they make a living, and who they are. An Inclusive Economy should not have neighbourhoods that are left behind. It must also recognise the need to protect our environment and promote clean growth, as we look to tackle the climate emergency.

Over the coming years, we must address the key challenges if our economy is to be truly inclusive. These challenges include:

  • recent reductions in average pay caused by a growth of lower paid jobs
  • part-time roles being predominantly only available in lower paid sectors, driving down many household incomes
  • independent retailers, the mainstay of our town centre economy, facing a wide range of challenges, but without the resources of their larger competitors
  • decreasing opportunities for those without high levels of skills, leaving workers without qualifications shut out from many of the emerging better paid roles

There is a significant opportunity to use the major developments across the borough to address some of these challenges and shape a more inclusive economy. In doing so, we must recognise Barnsley’s existing strengths in certain sectors and continue to support their growth in a sustainable way.

In years gone by, Barnsley’s housing market was characterised by high demand and relatively low supply, which pushed up house prices and rental costs, thus creating a challenging situation for Barnsley residents. At the time of writing, local housing affordability rates are some of the best in the country and we need to be proud of that. As always, we can do even better.

Delivery of the Local Plan will provide the framework for land use for homes and employment sites, whilst protecting Barnsley’s special character and Green Belt boundaries. There are unique opportunities to improve the infrastructure and public realm of the town; we are already seeing huge progress with this, but we can do more. We will also sustainably develop designated sites across the borough including major brownfield, historic and neglected areas.

Whilst Barnsley has fewer people presenting as officially homeless than many other comparator towns, homelessness and street sleeping are still key challenges - with plans underway to extend our homelessness prevention and resettlement services. The overall condition of our housing stock in Barnsley is relatively good yet significant numbers of Barnsley residents still live in fuel poverty. The Climate Emergency means that making Barnsley’s housing stock (public and private, existing and new build) significantly more thermally efficient, providing warmer homes and lower energy bills, is a priority.

Growing Barnsley: About our delivery plan

Our Growing Barnsley delivery plan has been developed to initially cover the next three years’ activity, from April 2022 to March 2025. It is intended to shape the activity of the 2030 Programme Board and its feeder delivery groups, acting as a guide for the prioritisation of resources and to monitor progress made.

This document underpins the overall aims and ambitions of the Barnsley 2030 programme theme of Growing Barnsley. It will act as a guide for all stakeholders to help identify shared objectives and areas of interest, so we can work together in effective collaboration and make progress towards our ambitions. For most people, a ‘good’ place offers them access to quality education and learning opportunities; a decent job and standard of living; a sense of fairness and inclusion; good health and wellbeing; a high quality environment; sustainable transport; strong culture and heritage; and a safe community.

The Growing Barnsley plan focuses on the following ambitions:

  • Helping local businesses to thrive, by providing early-stage business support and opportunities to grow
  • Ensuring that Barnsley is known as a great place to invest, where businesses and organisations provide diverse and secure employment opportunities, contributing to an inclusive economy
  • Providing our residents with a wider choice of quality, affordable and sustainable housing, relevant to their needs and lifestyle
  • Significantly increasing the number of people, businesses and organisations who are able to access and use digital resources - therefore benefitting all aspects of daily life

Golden thread – links to other strategies/plans

Growing Barnsley is intrinsically linked to the other three themes within the 2030 programme, and the ambitions/objectives within each are very much interchangeable; a true golden-thread throughout.

Below are a series of links to other important strategies and plans, which align well with this document. This list is by no means exhaustive, and merely provides a flavour of the alignment:

Where are we now?

Below are some key metrics, a full suite of metrics and baseline data is provided in Growing Barnsley delivery plan metrics - Appendix 1

Metric Barnsley Yorkshire and Humber National
Economic Activity Rate (16-64yrs)
As at Dec 2020
73.0% 78.1% 79.1%
Unemployment Rate (25-64yrs)
As at Dec 2020
4.1% 3.6% 3.4%
Average Gross Weekly Earnings
£517.40 £540.40 £587.10
Youth Unemployment Rate (16-24yrs)
As at Dec 2020
11.3% 9.9% 13.5%
Job Density
Ratio of Jobs to Working Age
Population (2019)
0.64 0.81 0.97
Business Start-Ups per 10,000
Population (2019)
38.74 44.65 62.12
Fuel Poverty
18.6% 16.8% 13.4%
Business Survival Rate –
two years (2019)
70.2% 71.1% 69.2%
GVA per Head of Population
£26,380 £31,650 £35,510

Town centre footfall trends

  • 2020/21: 3,500,163
  • 2019/20: 6,119,454
  • 2018/19: 6,713,814

How will we achieve our Growing Barnsley ambitions?


A draft action plan for delivery is outlined in Growing Barnsley delivery plan metrics - Appendix 1, mapping out key actions to be undertaken and key partners involved in their delivery. 

Working in partnership

Successfully delivering our ambitions for Barnsley and its residents set out in this plan cannot be done alone. There are a range of actions to be undertaken throughout the duration of the 2030 programme which not only require focus from local government, schools, businesses, NHS bodies and third sector organisations but also our communities and our residents themselves.

In this plan, we have sought to be clear on the actions and deliverables required to fulfil our Growing Barnsley ambitions – and therefore the future success of our borough. Over the period of the plan, we will actively seek to nurture strong connections with those who will help us achieve the best for our residents. Our plans need to be ‘fluid’ and not ‘fixed’ – the world is changing, seemingly at a faster pace than ever before. This is true locally, as well as regionally and nationally. We need to be a ‘listening partnership’; involving residents and communities in everything that we do. Our initial consultation work on the 2030 programme was thorough and detailed, but we will continue to consult and take steer as appropriate.

Barnsley is a town with ambition; with passion; with pride; with creativity and talent. We will work to harness all of that. Through the coordinated efforts of our stakeholders: residents, communities, businesses and key organisations, we can achieve our 2030 ambitions. But we will not stop there; when we achieve an ambition, we will look to furthering that ambition and stretch our potential to its maximum. It’s a journey we can only succeed in if we take the journey together.

Barnsley 2030 isn’t just about the work of a single individual, organisation, business, group or board. It’s about what we all do to make our borough the place that it is. Partnership working is key to the success of this project and over the lifetime of the strategy, each of us will be encouraged to consider how we as residents, learners, employees, potential investors or business owners can all contribute to achieving Barnsley’s ambitions.

There's also a formal structure that directly supports the delivery of the Barnsley 2030 strategy; this includes the Barnsley 2030 Board and the Barnsley 2030 delivery groups and Boards.

2030 Board

The Barnsley 2030 Board is a group of local decision makers, key organisations and business leaders across all sectors, who are all committed to achieving our ambitions. They're responsible for helping raise awareness of Barnsley’s story, overseeing the performance management, and making important decisions to ensure the delivery of the vision and ambitions.

There's also a small network of partnership groups and boards who are responsible for delivering different elements of the strategy, as well as providing challenge across the partnership, to ensure that we can successfully turn our ambitions into a reality.

Our joint commitment to achieving success

The table below details how we will collaborate to ensure our Growing Barnsley ambitions will be achieved, with significant contributions and commitments from all stakeholders of the 2030 programme:

2030 Programme Board
(Our commitments)
Businesses and organisations
(Your commitments)
Residents and communities
(Your commitments) 
  • Use local assets to attract major businesses, employment sites and developments
  • Support plans to enhance the borough’s infrastructure
  • Promote Barnsley as a place to start, grow and relocate businesses
  • Increasing the supply and range of attractive and affordable housing
  • Drive digital connectivity plans forward for the borough
  • Grow connections with other places to share ideas, and to raise Barnsley’s profile both regionally and nationally
  • Work together to make sure that businesses are supported, and join up the networks that provide advice to people looking to set up their own business
  • Promote the benefits of doing business in Barnsley
  • Access training, financial support and mentors
  • Use innovative solutions to drive business forward and join in campaigns to promote the Borough as a great business location
  • Manage and build housing to suit people’s needs
  • Make the most of digital opportunities to connect with customers and support digital inclusion
  • Provide clear routes for employment and development opportunities
  • Shop local, and use local businesses
  • Explore opportunities to find employment that’s right for you
  • Build your career in Barnsley
  • Work with us to shape our growth plans
  • Help to promote Barnsley as a place that is open for business
  • Make Barnsley your place to call home and make a positive contribution to your communities
  • Take advantage of high-speed broadband, and other digital offers, making the most of the support available to improve your digital skills

Key partnership delivery boards leading on Growing Barnsley include:

  • Inclusive Economy Board
  • Housing and Energy Board
  • Health and Wellbeing Board
  • Strategic Transport and Infrastructure Board
  • Digital Exclusion and Poverty Working Group
  • Communications and Marketing Working Group

Key partners working with us to achieve our Growing Barnsley objectives include:

  • Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce
  • Berneslai Homes
  • Barnsley College and Northern College
  • Business Village at Barnsley Business Innovation Centre

We also work closely with SYMCA and the MCA Strategic Boards.

Ambition Supporting Boards and Delivery Groups 2030 Board Members (Theme Leads)

GB1: Local businesses are thriving through early-stage support and opportunities to grow

Inclusive Economy Board and its Business Growth Subgroup

B&R Chamber of Commerce

Adrian Waite

Andrew Denniff

Joada Allen

Matthew Stephens

Sharon Thorpe

GB2: Barnsley is known as a great place to invest, where businesses and organisations provide diverse and secure employment opportunities, contributing to an economy that benefits everyone

Inclusive Economy Board and subgroups

Business Growth (IEB sub group)

More and Better Jobs Subgroup (IEB)

Anchor organisations and Social Value Subgroup (IEB)

Adrian Waite

Andrew Denniff

Joada Allen

Matthew Stephens

Sharon Thorpe

GB3: People have a wider choice of quality, affordable and sustainable housing, to suit their needs and lifestyle

Housing & Energy Board

Homeless Alliance

Inclusive Urban Centres Subgroup (IEB)

Adrian Waite

Andrew Denniff

Joada Allen

Matthew Stephens

Sharon Thorpe

GB4: Barnsley has significantly increased the number of people, businesses and organisations who are able to access and use digital resources, benefitting all aspects of daily life

Digital Exclusion and Poverty Group

Digital Leaders Sub Group

Adrian Waite

Andrew Denniff

Joada Allen

Matthew Stephens

Sharon Thorpe

Monitoring and evaluation

Measuring what matters

It's important for us to understand whether we’re on track to achieve our ambitions for Growing Barnsley. Over the lifetime of our strategy, the 2030 Board will work closely with the key delivery groups and partnership boards to monitor activity, track progress and address any challenges that may arise.

Theme leads will provide a quarterly update to the 2030 Board, on progress against the actions and deliverables contained within this delivery plan. These messages will then be cascaded appropriately across all partner / stakeholder organisations, and a detailed communications plan will ensure that we inform the residents of our borough in a timely fashion, as appropriate.

Monitoring activity will take place on both a quarterly and annual basis and we'll publish an annual report which will be made available on the Barnsley 2030 website. Our quarterly 2030 Board meetings will be driven by a ‘deep dive’ approach, where quantitative performance data is examined alongside qualitative updates, narrative and case studies. Our intention is to develop a robust reporting framework which will be used to examine current performance, trend data, and consider any further actions needed to improve/solidify performance. The use of Power BI, which presents data in both graphical and tabular format, is easy to navigate and will assist us in our performance management of the programme.

The power of story telling

All of the above will be underpinned by a robust Communications, Engagement and Marketing Plan. Our achievements cannot, and indeed should not, simply be measured quantitatively in raw numbers. We need to understand the impact on the people of Barnsley: "telling the story of impact and transformation, positively affecting lives and livelihoods". We will therefore develop a strong narrative by the reporting of case studies and detailed tangible outcomes. All of this will complement scrutiny and analysis of performance against our numerical targets.

Our 2030 board meetings will also be governed by the collation of key notes and action points, which will provide a level of rigour and robustness to the decision-making process of members. Project and progress updates will also be shared on social media. Each delivery plan will be reviewed and refreshed, where appropriate, on an annual basis.

Equality Impact Assessments

It is explicitly stated within the 2030 Board ‘Terms of Reference’ that Board members have primary responsibility for ensuring all aspects of equality and inclusion are considered within the delivery of the Barnsley 2030 programme of work. 

Board members must do this by ensuring that relevant schemes of work are appropriately impact assessed and that these assessments are used to inform the decision-making processes of the Board. 

Closing statement

Our principles

Our 2030 vision, ambitions and priorities for growth are clear, but there are challenges to overcome and difficult decisions to be made. As a result, we have developed a set of guiding principles which will inform and support our decision making processes in the weeks, months and years ahead:

  • Inclusive – maximising access, protecting and supporting the vulnerable, challenging inequalities and enabling empowerment
  • Focused – focusing on the outcomes for our people when designing, delivering and evaluating services, programmes and initiatives
  • Evidenced – using insight to target prevention, and deliver a place-based approach for early intervention and support
  • Local – working for the benefit of Barnsley and its people, it’s communities and businesses, and facilitating the longer-term sustainability and inclusivity of the local economy
  • Collaborative – working in partnership, to maximise the available skills, knowledge and resource, to co-design and co-produce services and deliver local solutions

Why it matters

A flourishing, thriving, sustainable and inclusive economy is critical, both now and for the future of Barnsley. It is the foundation for the wellbeing of our residents and communities, today and tomorrow, and is the platform for the town’s ambitions for the future. The last couple of years have been extremely challenging, with the Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions to control the spread of Coronavirus, impacting on jobs, businesses and livelihoods. In the short term, we can see more uncertainty with the cessation of Government support schemes for businesses and individuals.

As well as that immediate impact, the pandemic has also accelerated changes that were already underway, such as the shift to digital in work and retail; and increases in automation. It has also created new trends, such as the rapid shift to home-working for some sectors of the economy. These developments create new opportunities, but also have the potential to exacerbate existing inequalities and bring significant uncertainty to different sectors in our borough. We had already begun the process of addressing some of these trends prior to the pandemic, with work well underway to transform the town centre, coupled with attempts to diversify our ‘offer’ by focusing on culture and entertainment as well as retail, housing and employment. Moving forward, our efforts will increase at pace in line with our stated 2030 ambitions.

Beyond this, Barnsley Council declared a ‘Climate Emergency’ in 2019, with a detailed zero carbon sustainable energy action plan (SEAP) to achieve being a net zero borough by 2045. Responding to this now gives us new and unique opportunity for innovation – in manufacturing businesses and in energy generation, in quality of housing and transformation of our local transport networks. This is a daunting challenge, but one which Barnsley 2030 seeks to meet. Our recovery from the COVID pandemic presents us with the opportunity to do so, to ‘Grow’ Barnsley and really develop our town into ‘the place of possibilities’.

For more information

For more information about the project visit the Barnsley 2030 homepage, or contact us if you have any feedback or questions.

Contact us online