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  • Writer's pictureLee Barber

SEVEN reasons why BARNSLEY is becoming one of the most exciting towns in the North!

Updated: Jan 24

We recently received some wonderful feedback from a local business who commented on how Best of Barnsley had helped give the town it's community back. Our mission wasn't to do this, but to simply evidence that it was both existing and thriving. Whether you have been living in Barnsley all your life, or maybe looking to move here in the future, here are seven reasons why our town is becoming an unreal place to live, learn and work!

A hotbed of creativity

Barnsley has one of the most creative landscapes in any of England’s northern towns. From independent fashion designers, to it’s Digital Media Centres, the town is simply a hotbed of people testing the boundaries of their imagination.

Barnsley Live, the annual free music festival which takes over the pubs and clubs every summer, gives you the chance to see local bands across over 20 town centre venues (most of which have rehearsed in the towns many independent music studios) We also have a thriving arts scene, which includes Barnsley Civic, The Lamproom and Cooper Gallery. One thing is for sure, there’s no lack creativity in our town!

Shopping high street and independent

The ‘Barnsley Bustle’ is back! Since the opening of The Glass Works, global brands are starting to buy into what the town is setting out to achieve. Shopping in the town shouldn’t be a last minute mission (although some of us can’t help that…) but should be a day out, a ‘round up the mates' experience.

But it’s not just the high street shops that are the pull, we have an OUTSTANDING independent shopping scene! From the retailers on The Victorian Arcade, to the plethora of shops that make visiting our local villages across the borough a delight. Let’s not forget the our incredible markets! They are both a nostalgic kick, and the backbone of what makes Barnsley brill.

Food and Drink

I mean you can take your bloody pick here! Not only is Barnsley a top place for good, honest, homemade pub food, but we’ve got plenty of outstanding restaurants who are all putting their spin on global cuisines. From award winning Indians, to Italians that seem to be part of the Barnsley fabric - the town can really sort you out with some decent dishes!

In terms of enjoying a few drinks, again it’s a question of where do you want to base yourself? Like any emerging town, you’ve got choice. Whether it’s a couple of cocktails at Gateway Plaza, a night at The Glass Works, a real ale experience down The Arcade or a boogie to live music, you’re definitely not short of options!

Things to do for all the family

One thing that half terms can often expose in towns is the things families can get up to over a one/two week period. Even though we aren’t a huge area, there’s still plenty of unique things that you can do in and around the town. From a nostalgic gaming trip to Retrodome, to spending a day at the nations favourite farm at Cannon Hall.

Got a small budget? There’s plenty of free things to seek out also. Barnsley Museums at Experience Barnsley, Cooper Gallery, Cannon Hall, Elsecar Heritage Centre and Worsbrough Mill are all free entrance and boast kid friendly activities during the holidays! If you’re the walking type, take a nosey around Elsecar Park, Loche Park, Worsbrough or Dearne Valley Country Parks. Not to mention regular events put on by Barnsley Council each year like Bright Nights, Flavours Food Festival and Barnsley’s Big Weekend!

Our passionate villages

One of the many crucial things that keep Barnsley ticking is the unrivalled passion across the borough. Many of our villages not only have their own bubbling food, drink and independent shopping scenes, but individually hold great historic clout. From the industrial nostalgia of Elsecar, to the stories surrounding the medieval ruins of Monk Bretton Priory, the only thing that rivals the passion for Barnsley from its locals is the unwavering love people have for the over 50 villages and wards that around the town.

Driving forward into an exciting future

One thing that is for certain, and that is Barnsley is on the move! The recent enhancements of the town centre has no doubt left many neighbouring boroughs envious of our ability to build a city-style feel on proud, working class town values.

Not only are we once again leading the regions way in high-street and market-style shopping, but the Barnsley Council's 'Barnsley 2030' initiative lays down the towns vision over the next seven years. The strategy puts forward plans for the towns long-term vision including continuing to promote independent businesses, building more sustainable housing and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their learning potential. Barnsley is open for buisness, and it's quickly becoming the 'place of possibilities'. You can see the full Barnsley 2030 strategy here.

Unrivalled appreciation of the past

Barnsley has an appreciation of it's past that runs deeper than most towns and cities across the UK. As we look forward to a exciting future for the area, the nods to yesteryear are more than evident throughout the borough. From the hero of Billy Casper, who captured the heart and soul of our town, proudly kneeling outside The Alhambra, to the wonderful organisations that keep alive the towns proud mining heritage, there's a heart that fiercely beats for the people who helped build the proud reputation the town continues to extrude.

In a country where towns and cities battle to become London's younger sibling, we continue to hold a large candle to our history by not only speaking of it's successes, but using it to shape our future.


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