Martin Beasley and Tom Janion at the new Equi-Trek site in Barnsley.
Barnsley saw a record level of inward investment last year with over 1,300 jobs being created in the process thanks to Enterprising Barnsley
Enterprising Barnsley has helped create over 1,300 new jobs, attracted 39 new companies to the borough and seen nearly a million square feet of extra floor space taken up by businesses since April 2016.
The organisation, which is the economic development arm of Barnsley Council, helps businesses across the borough develop and expand; generating economic growth and creating jobs.
The boom has also been felt by the Digital Media Centre, an award winning creative and digital hub on County Way that is part of the Enterprising Barnsley service, which now has its highest ever occupancy rate at 96%.
Martin Beasley, Enterprising Barnsley group leader, said: “These are challenging times in the economy generally, but we are showing that with support businesses can survive and even thrive.
“Enterprising Barnsley proves that if the public and private sector work together it really does pay dividends for everyone.”
Businesses have taken up 881,000 sq ft more floor space since last April and new companies moving in to the borough have brought in £32m of private sector investment.
And in an effort to attract even more, Enterprising Barnsley is working with developers to promote commercial sites particularly near junctions 36 and 37 of the M1 motorway.
Among the companies moving in to the borough is MAC Clinical Research, the UK’s largest neuroscience research company, which is creating 12 new jobs at premises at Wentworth Office Park in Tankersley.
Others include Equi-Trek, a luxury horsebox manufacturer with royal clients, which has moved in to the former Fox Wire building near Stocksbridge, with plans for up to 30 new jobs.
Tom Janion, managing director of Equi-Trek, said: “The support from Enterprising Barnsley has been a huge help as we set up our new base here. Demand for our vehicles is growing every year and we’ve had a wonderful welcome to Barnsley, so we are very much looking forward to what the future holds.”
Universal Components is another company that has moved in to the borough, with support from Enterprising Barnsley’s inward investment team, which helped the company access finance and identify the most appropriate site.
The new 165,000 sq ft premises at Ashroyd Business Park, just off junction 36 of the M1, has become the company’s advanced logistics facility, encompassing their head office, call centre and distribution warehouse. There are plans to create 80 new jobs.
Chief executive of Universal Components David Kernahan said: “The highly proactive approach from Enterprising Barnsley was a fundamental part of why Universal Components wanted to build the new facility in Barnsley. I found their helpful attitude, support and infrastructure created a fantastic environment to enable the desired end result. A great team and a great organisation.”
Among the local firms that have benefited from Enterprising Barnsley support is Road Tankers Northern. The company, based at Platts Common Industrial Estate in Hoyland, designs, builds, services and inspects road tankers for carrying petroleum and LPG gas. Current plans involve taking on another 15 employees to add to the 150 staff.
RTN operations director Don McKelvie added: “The support we have had in Barnsley has been excellent. The Enterprising Barnsley team is fully committed to promoting the success of business in the borough and they’ve worked alongside us, in very practical terms, all the way.”
Beasley concluded: “We can help companies whether they are large or small, start-up or established. We want to help businesses already here, but we also want to show businesses elsewhere that Barnsley has a lot to offer.
“The inward investment over the last year and the growth of indigenous companies demonstrates that the town continues to be an excellent location for business.”