About The Seam
The Seam consultation was a chance to provide feedback and help shape our future plans.
The Seam is Barnsley’s digital campus, a new district at the heart of the town centre that builds on the success of the Digital Media Centre. The vision is to create an urban village that brings together people, business, education and research. It will become a vibrant and sustainable neighbourhood where people live, work, and learn, try new ideas, enjoy the public spaces, and support the wider town centre economy.
The Seam will play a key role in supporting entrepreneurial spirit and enabling the growth of digital industries which, in turn, will support the long-term regeneration of the town and creation of more and better jobs for local people.
Barnsley Council aspires to be carbon neutral across the borough by 2045 and this development aims to champion energy and resource efficiency, support the move to more sustainable transport options and create well-planned green spaces for people and the planet.
Help us to make The Seam an innovative place to live, work and create.
About the site
In 2021 the council created a ‘blueprint’ for the site known as The Seam digital campus, which set out a series of development plots across the whole site (plots 1 to 9).
Government funding via the Future High Street fund will now allow the council to bring forward the ambitions for phase 1 of the scheme (known as Lower Courthouse/The Seam car park) which includes plots 1 and 2 for low carbon housing, a new Active Travel Hub, quality public space and a new multi-storey car park equipped with electric vehicle charging.
The consultation related only to phase 1.
New public spaces
The Seam digital campus will include high quality public open space which will serve the campus and the town centre. The plan is to create relaxed and informal green areas for the public to enjoy, in line with Barnsley’s Local Plan requirements for the site.
This will provide an attractive new destination for the town centre; a ‘promenade route’ will act as a main walkway through the site with connected networks of smaller paths within the development. Anyone moving through the digital campus will pass through this space on their way home or to work, and be able to move between the different levels via the landscaped steps and ramp proposed.
Designed around comfort and wellbeing, people will be able to relax, play, meet and work outdoors. The overall design will include colourful and vibrant natural planting, trees, lawns and attractive street furniture.
The site has digital and smart technology at the heart of it. This will enable new safety features and smarter lighting to discourage any unwanted antisocial behaviour.
The public space also includes new pedestrian routes across the site to the multi-storey car park (located off Old Mill Lane).
There will be a main promenade walkway running from the campus entrance (at the junction of Eldon Street and Regent Street) to the new multi-storey car park. The new route will include feature steps and an accessible ramp built into the landscape up onto the upper deck of The Seam (see the blue route on the map below). The multi-storey car park will also be accessible off County Way.
New active travel hub
A key access point for the new site will be the development of a new Active Travel Hub which has been enabled by government funding.
The new hub, across from the current Active Travel Hub at the Transport Interchange, will be designed to increase and support residents to access the town centre and wider borough by bike or on foot, reducing the amount of car use for short journeys in line with our 2045 ambitions for net zero carbon across the borough.
The facility will include cycle storage, cycle hire and repair facilities, along with a public cafe. The space will also include secure access to toilets and showers for those using the Active Travel Hub. The hub itself will welcome users of the campus site, sitting very closely to the interchange, opposite the lower DMC 01 entrance.
The digital campus offers an important opportunity to demonstrate how an ambitious zero-carbon approach to development can be realised while responding to the wider sustainability and active travel objectives.
New parking arrangements
On The Seam, a new multi-storey car park will reduce the overall parking capacity on the site from 900 to 400 spaces. This is vital to allow space for the expansion of the campus while offering an improved secure car parking facility that will meet the ‘Park Mark Plus’ standards, improving safety and customer experience for commuters using the car park.
The council have been undertaking car park occupancy surveys both pre-COVID and since September 2021 in order to improve the management of car parking across the town centre and minimise disruption. Visitors will be re-directed to over 1000 vacant spaces across the town centre, with soon-to-be installed live digital roadside information boards, directing drivers to empty spaces, reducing journey times and emissions.
In light of The Seam’s sustainable aspirations and the council’s zero carbon targets, the new car park will have 40 electric vehicle charging points from the offset, with capacity to increase provision in line with demand. In addition to the new Active Travel Hub, this will see Barnsley reducing its carbon emissions and improving air quality in the town centre.
Barnsley Council’s car parking strategy will see investments to make parking safer, smarter, and easier to use.
Smart and sustainable
We want The Seam digital campus to lead by example through the development of a digital smart and sustainable campus which supports the net zero 45 targets for the borough of Barnsley.
We will also aim to grow and present Barnsley as a place for new technology and innovative and experimental ideas - the campus will be a place to try out and see how smart technology and digital can impact all our lives and our planet for the better. The campus is already home to the Digital Media Centre, and we want to build on their success, global reputation and creative spirit.
Other sustainability measures, including low carbon building techniques, use of renewable energy, green infrastructure and sustainable urban drainage systems, will also be included in the plans.
Creating an ‘urban village’
The Seam will look to become a space to live, work and play with an urban village feel. The residential site will be privately developed within the values of the digital campus, creating a new neighbourhood that could mix townhouses and apartments for unique city-style living.
The residential site and development will become a trailblazing destination that can allow new sustainable buildings to be delivered in Barnsley, setting an example and encouraging similar sustainable developments across the borough.
This new district connects closely with the town centre regeneration and other development works already underway including The Glass Works and Eldon Street Heritage Action Zone. A residential development on this site is in line with the Local Plan.
The Seam consultation has now ended. Thank you to everyone who gave us their feedback.