TEchTown, interview with Tracey Johnson lead Partner
Before I answer these questions, let's back track a bit as the local context is important. Barnsley is a medium sized city - at least by UK standards in the north of England. Historically it was a mining community so with the closure of mines in the 1970s and 19430s, it suffered massive industrial decline coupled with high Levels of unemployment and deprivation.
So, the city has had to completely re-imagine its future and think creatively about its assets so as to grow new jobs. I think this scenario will resonate with people from other medium sized cities. One initiative, which has been particularly successful, is the 'Enterprising Barnsley' business support programme (part funded through ERDF) which has helped local companies to create over 1400 jobs since 2010. Let's not forget that this is in a period when the rest of the UK economy was at best stagnant. Barnsley grew the biggest number of jobs in the whole country - 9.4% growth - we're pretty proud of that.