FIVE ‘transformational’ projects to revitalise areas of the Dearne as part of a £23m project have been submitted to the government for approval.

An initial consultation - which took place over a two-week period between August and September in 2020 - yielded plans to grow employment, improve active travel options, boost local amenities and improve the environment in Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Bolton-upon-Dearne.

It was part of a larger £3.6bn ‘Towns Fund’ that was provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to help drive long-term economic growth and productivity in often neglected areas.

The Chronicle can reveal projects put forward include 72.9 hectares of employment land off the A635 Barnsley Road, better quality housing - which includes regeneration of traditional terraced streets - a refurbishment of the Dearne Playhouse, a visitor hub, improved parking and more play equipment at Phoenix Park and a new public square on the grounds of the former Horse and Groom pub.

Derek Bramham, chairperson of the Goldthorpe Town Deal Board, said: “Goldthorpe was one of 101 towns invited to bid for Towns Fund investment to help improve skills, digital and transport connectivity, create new jobs, raise aspiration, and revitalise the economic prospects of the area.

“The plan is based on four themes of growing Goldthorpe, connecting Goldthorpe, developing Goldthorpe and placemaking Goldthorpe.

“This level of investment in a local area is the sort we only see once in a generation at the most.

“I am delighted cabinet have approved these five projects which will unlock more than £23m to help regenerate, renew and revitalise Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Bolton-upon-Dearne.

“An enormous amount of effort has been put in to bring together projects supported by business cases which meet the criteria of the fund, as well as help us achieve the priorities we set as a board following consultation with local people.”

Full business cases for these five major projects have now been prepared and approved by Barnsley Council’s cabinet.

These have now been submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) who will then release the £23m investment.

“People wanted investment to help bring new jobs and investment to Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Bolton-upon-Dearne, as well as improve the local street scene, improve local housing, and develop better transport links,” Derek added.

“I am very pleased we are able to submit projects which meet the priorities which we identified following consultation with local people.

“There will still be opportunities for local people to contribute their thoughts, comments, and ideas - I would urge people who want to keep up to date with the projects to visit where latest updates will be shared throughout the projects, and you can sign up to an email mailing list for all major updates.”