Principal towns and local village centres

Our principal towns and local village centres investment programme is an estimated £35 million project. Its aim is to improve local economies around the borough and help our high streets thrive.

£5 million has already been invested into our six principal towns and ten local centres to help them thrive. This has already given us more than 60 projects either completed or underway.

These include more than 500 local shop-front transformations and high street improvements.

There are also community art projects and new public spaces being created.

What we're doing

We’re now progressing further with our principal towns and local village centres programme.

A further £10 million has been set aside by our cabinet to support the project.

Our Cabinet has approved individual town investment plans for each principal town and there's also a borough-wide plan to target investment in key local projects in other areas across the borough.

We’ll be using the detailed town investment plans to support investment.

This is done through regional and national funding opportunities, as well as other inward investment.

Works funded by the project will include:

  • mini business centres, including business support
  • repurposing of key buildings and land
  • transport improvements, including active travel routes
  • cultural celebrations, as well as participation in cultural events and projects
  • employability support to help people to get into good work
  • development of open and welcoming public and green spaces
  • development of amenities and facilities for community use
  • digital connectivity projects to tackle digital exclusion and build skills
  • investment in low carbon and sustainability improvements

By encouraging footfall and improving the visiting experience, the project aims to promote private sector investment and other funding streams to create new opportunities for businesses.

Main shopping areas (principal towns) where investment money is being spent

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

Borough-wide local village centre areas also included

  • Darfield
  • Darton East
  • Darton West
  • Dearne South
  • Dodworth
  • Kingstone
  • Monk Bretton
  • North East
  • Old Town
  • Stairfoot
  • St Helen's
  • Worsbrough


New town investment plans

Ambitious investment plans have been drawn up for each of our Principal Towns of Cudworth, Hoyland, Royston, Penistone and Wombwell.

Goldthorpe already has a town investment plan after it was chosen as one of the towns to be supported by the UK government’s Towns Fund. Read about the Goldthorpe Towns Fund deal.

The plans have been put together using feedback from local people through local consultations. Each plan is different and tailored to local priorities in each area, but here’s a summary of some of the investment included in each one:


Cudworth is a bustling small town to the north of Barnsley town centre with a wide shopping and visitor offer ranged around Barnsley Road. It offers a gateway to the countryside and is a pleasant place to live and visit.

Find out more about Cudworth.

How we’ve invested in Cudworth


Hoyland is a hub of shops and community facilities ranged around an attractive town centre and fanning out to Hoyland Common and towards Elsecar. From the pretty Milton Pond and the twice-weekly market to the newly-enhanced Town Square, there are plenty of reasons for a visit.

Find out more about Hoyland.

How we've invested in Hoyland


Penistone is a busy market town with a wealth of independent shops. It’s a gateway to the Trans Pennine Trail and home to the Penistone Sheep art trail.

Find out more about Penistone.

Welcome to Penistone


Royston has a strong spirit of rebirth aligned with its “flame flower” emblem, as borne out by its many volunteer groups and community-focused organisations. Take a stroll along its varied shopping streets or explore the beautiful Rabbit Ings country park.

Find out more about Royston.

How we've invested in Royston


Wombwell has a busy high street, a regular market and a wealth of thriving volunteer-led groups.

Find out more about Wombwell.

How we've invested in Wombwell


Goldthorpe is benefitting from £23.1 million of investment from the UK Government’s Towns Fund through the Goldthorpe Town Deal Board.

Major projects include the renovation of Dearne Playhouse, the creation of a new market square and events venue and development of new employment land.

Find out more about our investment in Goldthorpe.

Goldthorpe Town Square Opening Small

Local village centres

As part of the Principal Towns and Local Centres Programme, we’re also investing in modernising valued community facilities and projects to enhance people’s lives in our villages and smaller settlements.

Investing in our local village Centres.


Shop front scheme

Grants to improve the shop fronts of independent businesses in the borough. Find out about the shop front scheme.

Follow us on social media

Search using the hashtag #PrincipalTowns on Facebook and X to see what's happening as part of the project in your local area.