Barnsley Council in bid for “once in a generation” £25m investment for Dearne Valley

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The council is to bid for £25m of government funding for some of the most deprived areas of the Barnsley borough.

The cash, from the Governement’s Future Towns fund, is a “once in a generation” chance for a large investment in the Dearne Valley.

Goldthorpe has already received £500,000 for “accelerated projects” to improve the area.

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The cash is earmarked for redeveloping a property on the high street, improvements to the former railway cuttings site on Barnsley Road, an “active travel” route at Phoenix Park, Thurnscoe, relocation of the market, and improvements to council housing in the area.

Barnsley Town HallBarnsley Town Hall
Barnsley Town Hall

A towns fund board for Goldthorpe was established, and councillors, members of the community and business leaders put their heads together to come up with a an investment plan.

If approved by Barnsley Council’s Cabinet next week, it will form the basis of a funding bid of more than £25m which will be submitted to government next month.

Councillor Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for place said: “The towns fund gives us a genuine ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to make such a huge and meaningful investment in the future of our communities in the Dearne Valley.

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“We believe this ambitious plan will help give local people the best chance to thrive on a level playing field with better access to education and training, better access to more and better jobs on their doorstep, better connectivity to employment which might be further away, and an improved local high street and sense of place.

“We know the people of the Dearne Valley love their local area. We want to give them the best chance to thrive so that more of the current and future generations will choose to stay here, build their lives and raise their families without having to move away in search of work.”

Although there are no details yet of what the cash will be spent on, the towns fund board have five priorities to transform Goldthorpe into “a growth catalyst for the Dearne Valley”; growing Goldthorpe, connecting Goldthorpe, developing Goldthorpe and placemaking Goldthorpe.

Derek Bramham chairperson of the Town Board, said: “The Goldthorpe town board has incredibly high ambitions for Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Bolton upon Dearne as we do our best to make it a place more people want to live, work, shop and invest.

“We’ve worked in partnership right across the whole community so we can understand these priorities as that’s the first step to addressing them.

“Our Town Investment Plan (TIP) for Goldthorpe, Bolton upon Dearne and Thurnscoe has been put together through working closely with the community and we hope it will have an enormous and positive impact on communities in the Dearne for years to come.

“The Town Board would like to thank all members of the community who engaged with the Town Investment Plan consultation held in August and September. We received overwhelming positive support to the proposed themes with between 87 to 98 per cent of people in favour of Growing, Connecting, Developing and Placemaking Goldthorpe.”