Cash-strapped Barnsley Council still funds projects to create jobs

Jim Andrews, Stephen Houghton, Ian Ball of Harworth, and Roy Miller
Jim Andrews, Stephen Houghton, Ian Ball of Harworth, and Roy Miller

Up to 450 jobs could be created on a new business park near the M1 in Barnsley thanks to investment from the public and private sector.

The R-evolution site, on 15 acres by Junction 36, is set to include industrial units, a hotel, pub and drive-through restaurant.

Barnsley Council built three, costing £4.8million, which are available for lease.

Property firm Harworth Estates has taken out a loan to build a larger unit. It also has planning permission for a third and final phase, comprising a drive-through restaurant, hotel or car showroom and a Farmhouse Inn pub, operated by Greene King.

The development has been supported by the council’s Property Investment Fund, an initiative to create jobs and businesses.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said: “Barnsley Council has been going through a difficult time with cuts to government funding, but it is our priority to grow the economy by providing job opportunities and the development at Gateway 36 is a huge step forward in this ambition.

“This is a great example of how we can work with the private sector to provide Barnsley residents, particularly our young people, with job opportunities now and in the future and I’d like to thank Harworth Estates, the commercial property agency Knight Frank and Marshall’s construction company.”

All occupiers have access to business support through the council’s investment team, including free guidance on access to finance, recruitment and training.

Iain Thomson, of Harworth Estates, said: “Building this unit speculatively marks another exciting period for Harworth Estates and our Gateway 36 development.

“There is a lack of good quality units of less than 100,000 sq ft in the region and we have taken this decision to steal a march on other developers focusing on big box logistics.

Construction is being funded by loans through the Sheffield City Region Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) Fund aimed at areas of clear demand but lack of supply and little interest from the traditional lenders.