Barnsley business support brings 1000 jobs boost
21 December 2011
A business support programme in Barnsley has helped create or save more than 1,000 jobs in the borough.
The Enterprising Barnsley
programme has led to 630 new jobs and the protection of 397 posts since it was set up in 2009.
And figures to the end of November show the programme has already broken its targets for 2011 – a month early.
Enterprising Barnsley has provided coaching support to businesses that have growth potential. The business sectors eligible include advanced manufacturing and materials, creative and digital industries, financial and business services, bioscience, sports technology, environmental technology and food and drink technologies.
Coaches provide free specialist advice on everything from sales and marketing to IT and environmental management.
The 575 companies supported employ about 6,000 people, which is nearly ten per cent of the borough’s total workforce.
Enterprising Barnsley has also offered free or subsidised office space or “hubs” and run networking events.
In 2011, up until the end of November 160 jobs were created – more than the target of 125 for the year, and 313 safeguarded* – more than double the annual target of 125.
Among the firms which have received input from Enterprising Barnsley this year is Lavender International, which has a turnover of £2.5 million and trains people from all over the world in the non-destructive testing of materials, especially metals.
Co-managing director Stephen Lavender said: “We have to keep pace with the changing demands of many different industries and we also have to keep pace with more day-to-day tasks like IT and marketing. And that is where Enterprising Barnsley’s help has been invaluable.”
Others given support include Cannon Hall Farm, which has seen its gate receipts go up by 30 per cent this year; Zebra Steel, which makes architectural metalwork and has won prestigious contracts in London, and Spotty Otter, which makes children’s outdoor gear and is fast becoming a cult brand.
Barnsley councillor Tim Cheetham, who is cabinet spokesperson for development, environment and culture, said: “As we all know it has not been an easy year for businesses, but we have shown that even in difficult times it is possible for businesses to survive and in some cases even thrive if they are given support.
“Enterprising Barnsley has helped 176 companies grow their workforce and that is no mean feat in these challenging times. But it is something we must continue to do.”
Enterprising Barnsley is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency (BDA), Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) and the University of Huddersfield’s Barnsley Campus (UCB). It has attracted £2.89m investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
NOTE TO EDITORS
BDA is Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council’s Economic Development Department.
* Jobs are deemed “safeguarded” if a permanent paid full-time equivalent job is at risk of being lost within a year. A job can only be claimed to be safeguarded when it is no longer at risk of being lost within a year.