Barnsley Council reveals £1m grant after Freedom of Information request

From left: Sophie Moore and Shaun Higginbottom of Barnsley Council, Iain McPhail of Knight Frank, Matthew Grafton and Steve Taylor of Solarframe, Christ Marshall of CDP Marshall, Matt Gladstone of Barnsley Council, Rebecca Schofield of Knight Frank and Tim Hartley of Barnsley Council.
From left: Sophie Moore and Shaun Higginbottom of Barnsley Council, Iain McPhail of Knight Frank, Matthew Grafton and Steve Taylor of Solarframe, Christ Marshall of CDP Marshall, Matt Gladstone of Barnsley Council, Rebecca Schofield of Knight Frank and Tim Hartley of Barnsley Council.

​Barnsley Council ​refused to disclose details of a grant of more than £​1m to a builder, The Star can reveal.

A Freedom of Information request shows the authority ​is making four payments of ​£274,650 to CD​P​ Marshall, to build ​two​ warehouse​s​ in the borough.

A total of ​£1,098,600 of taxpayers’ cash is coming from its Property Investment Fund.

The authority initially said the fund had contributed to the ​warehouse, but refused to say how much, or whether the money was a grant or a loan.

The Star asked for details, but was told the figure would not be released because it was ‘commercially sensitive’. 

The council did not say which regulation was being used to keep the matter private. 
Eventually the newspaper submitted a Freedom of Information Request asking for the details.​ 

Shaun Higginbottom, business investment manager, then confirmed the amount.

He said bidding for monies was a competitive process and they didn’t want to publicise the figure due to interest from developers in “limited funds”.

The issue came to light last month when the council​,​ CD​P​ Marshall and a property agent announced the completion of the buildings​ on Capitol Park at Junction 37 of the M1. Solarframe has taken one of the units.

On the same site, Sheffield City Region publicly announced it loaned £2.2m to Carnell Management Services to build 15 units.​