About the City
- 99.5% of all companies are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
- The largest employment sectors are public sector (21% and wholesale and retail trade (16.9%), Manufacturing (14% and transport and storage (6.5%)
- Private sector employment is increasing but there is still heavy reliance on the public sector for employment (21% of employment)
- Creative, tech and digital industries are seen as potentially transformational sectors and the city has a clear aim to grow more and higher value jobs for local people
About the policy context
The good practice will be transferred within the following policy contexts:
- At national level, the Good Practice links with the UK government’s concept of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ which aims to support stronger growth in Northern cities. It also sits within the strategic goal of TechNation which is to position the UK as the global destination for ambitious tech entrepreneurs. TechNation stress that, to achieve this goal, it is important to make sure that the UK tech sector creates opportunities for all major towns and cities.
- At regional level, the Sheffield City Region Digital Action Plan sets out regional ambitions for a digital sector that can help drive growth across different industries.
- At local level, the good practice is closely linked to the More and Better Jobs plan and the TechTown Integrated Action Plan which sets out the ambitions to create a Digital Campus that will connect digital people, businesses and learning online and offline.
Enterprising Barnsley is an initiative which, initially funded through ERDF and subsequently by the Council, has run in one shape or form since 2007. It provides an intensive and integrated package of intensive support focused on local (start up and established) business needs in order to create and accelerate economic growth. The portfolio of projects focuses upon business start-up support, business incubation, enterprise coaching, inward investment, networks and workshops and enterprise hubs.
It now creates around 1500 jobs per year and every £1 invested by Enterprising Barnsley helps to secure an additional £5.33 in private sector investment into the local economy; and, every £1 of investment secures an extra £0.96 in business rates for the Council.
“The support we receive from Enterprising Barnsley is fantastic. We have had assistance with recruitment, training and various council services which has had a positive impact on our business. As the largest private sector employer in Barnsley, with over 4,000 employees, we continue to look forward to enhancing site operations in the future and look forward to continuing our positive relationship with Enterprising Barnsley”. Ken Perritt, Account Director, XPO Logistics
Enterprising Barnsley is now a core council service which includes support with:
- Starting Up (Launchpad)
- Access to Finance
- Recruitment & Training
- Supply Chain & Export
- Accessing Council Services
- Property Finder
- Local Event
- Inward Investment
Each of these elements is described briefly below.
Three years later, the DMC is at, on average,95% occupancy, generates surplus income for the council, and is a recognised hub for incubation, acceleration and wider support activities that focus both on developing the sector, and also supporting the digitalisation of traditional industry.
One of the key success factors is that the main physical asset of the DMC is connected with support programmes and activities, including the start-up support service which is co-located there. The DMC hosts regular networks and events and works hard to grow the digital and creative economy through clustering and community building, and also to drive demand for digital products, skills and services. It collides traditional and digital industry expertise. This wider community offer includes:
- Adopting an ‘open door’ policy: availability for any growing business, putting customers at the heart of the work;
- Making space available at no or low cost to those who want to deliver activities for other businesses, or digital sector events (e.g. hack days)
- Delivering a constantly evolving and varied programme of events, from casual meetups to networking and ‘dives’ into new tech, a monthly breakfast club and workshops for startups based on Lean Business Model Canvas;
- Using Slack as a digital platform to collaborate with digital community, generate feedback and ideas, as well as informal conversation;
- Free-to-access bespoke business support for growing companies;
Through the success of Enterprising Barnsley and the Digital Media Centre, the council and its stakeholders have been able to develop a number of linked initiatives which form an important part of the context in which the good practice will be transferred.
- IoT Tribe North Accelerator
- Connected Healthcare
- Connected Manufacturing
- New grow-on space (under development)
- Digital Campus (under development)
Created with images by fancycrave1 - "laptop human hands keyboard typing working business" • Benjamin Child - "Elegant boardroom" • image4you - "euro coins currency" • Helloquence - "Brainstorming over paper" • blickpixel - "board electronics computer"