Barnsley Council’s Enterprising Barnsley project has come away with the top award in the prestigious Driving Growth category at this year’s 20th anniversary Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards.
The LGC Awards identify, celebrate and help share the finest examples of innovation and quality delivered by councils on a daily basis. Barnsley faced stiff competition in the category from ten other local authorities including last year’s Council of the Year – Glasgow City Council and local neighbours Leeds City Council and Wakefield Council.
The Driving Growth award is particularly important to Barnsley as the council continues to develop a thriving and vibrant economy by encouraging more business start-ups, supporting new ideas and creating more job opportunities for local people.
It comes on the back of outstanding achievements made in the past three years. Enterprising Barnsley offers a wide range of free support to private sector investors moving into the area, existing business owners looking to expand and entrepreneurs launching start-up ventures. The project has helped provide 762 businesses with customised business coaching support and created 276 new businesses. It has also helped to stimulate significant private sector job growth, ranking Barnsley in the top ten in the country for growth in the last decade. LGC Judges commented: “This project demonstrated tangible outcomes over a sustained period.”
Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place said: “Winning this award is a fantastic result for Barnsley and is national acknowledgement of the hard work, dedication and vision of our staff.
“I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone involved in this well-deserved achievement. Our success in this category shows the importance and effectiveness of working in close partnership with our business community. Barnsley is a great place to do business and Enterprising Barnsley offer practical support that is making a real difference to the local economy.”
LGC Editor, Nick Goulding said: “This year we have had near record levels of entries and judges have been hugely impressed by councils’ ingenuity in response to today’s tough challenges. The quality of work featured in the LGC Awards is testament to councils’ dedication to improvement.”
Barnsley Council was also shortlisted in four other categories, including Council of the Year, evidence that it is delivering its priorities to create strong, resilient communities, a thriving and vibrant economy and helping people to achieve their potential.