Town Spirit

Improving your local high street

Barnsley is currently undergoing a spectacular transformation. From improvements to the town centre, including the creation of a brand new shopping boulevard, car parking and community space library, to investment in a new business park at Junction 36.

A number of high-profile private sector organisations have already relocated to Barnsley over the last few years. Even more are committing as a result of continued work and the future continues to look bright for local residents and businesses. 

As part of the exciting regeneration plan, we are also ploughing extra investment into boosting local high streets across the borough. 

Principal Towns

Principal Towns is a £5 million investment project set up to improve local economies in the surrounding areas and help local high streets thrive. The programme launched in April 2017 and will be running until March 2020.

Main shopping areas (Principal Towns) where investment will be spent

  • Cudworth
  • Goldthorpe
  • Hoyland
  • Penistone
  • Royston
  • Wombwell

Smaller local shopping areas (Local Centres) also included

  • Athersley
  • Bolton upon Dearne
  • Darfield
  • Darton
  • Dodworth
  • Grimethorpe
  • Lundwood
  • Mapplewell
  • Stairfoot
  • Thurnscoe

As part of the Principal Towns project, we are working with local businesses and community organisations to deliver projects focussed on creating a thriving high street and strong and resilient communities.

Projects could include car parking improvements, new signage, shop front improvements and public space improvements.

A suggested minimum amount of funding per project has been proposed as £100,000 for Principal Towns and £50,000 for Local Centres.

These exciting improvements will help encourage investment from the private sector and other funding streams to increase income generation across the borough.

Initial registration of interests have been submitted for each of the areas. If you would like further details on what has been proposed or have any suggestions as to what the funding could be used for in your local area please contact officers on the details below.

For more information please contact our Principal Towns Project Management Officer.

Grants for specific projects or areas

Business start-up grant - Goldthorpe

As part of the Principal Towns programme, a business start-up grant of up to £5,000 is being offered to new businesses opening on Goldthorpe High Street. 

The grant aims to attract new businesses to Goldthorpe and help the high street to thrive. It also aims to help new businesses trade to a wider audience through an online presence. 

Funding criteria

  • you must be a new business that has not previously traded
  • the new business must not directly compete with a business that is already present on the High Street - the grant aims to provide a wider variety of shops and services in the area
  • the business must be in the Goldthorpe High Street area
  • the business must be willing to work with Barnsley Council's Launchpad programme to develop a business plan

How to apply for the grant

For more details, or to apply, please email

Similar projects

Examples of where similar projects have worked well include the following.

Aldershot shop front scheme - Hampshire

Aldershot's council invited landlord and shop owners to apply for grants of up to £10,000 each to help with the cost of shop front improvements. Eight saw fantastic improvements including repainting, repairing of historic features and new signage.

Harrow town centre - London

Harrow town centre – London

New paving, benches, planting, signage and lighting have been introduced through a redesign of Harrow town centre to make it a more resilient and inviting place.

Lockerbie public realm improvements - Scotland

Lockerbie public realm improvements – Scotland

The public realm project in Lockerbie created an imaginative new urban public space and provided a focal point for the high street. A highlight of the space includes sculptures of sheep to link with Lockerbie’s agricultural past.

Winter Garden pop up shop  - Sheffield

Winter Garden pop up shop – Sheffield

In 2015 a group of Sheffield artists and designers joined together to fill an empty shop unit in Sheffield Winter Garden. After a successful month over Christmas they decided to take the unit on permanently. This has now grown into a vibrant offering of Sheffield's creative talent only selling items by makers and artists living in Sheffield.

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