What is The Seam?
The Seam is Barnsley’s Digital Campus, an extension to Barnsley’s town centre, creating an urban village on the County Way car park areas. It will transform a network, extending the two DMC buildings and Barnsley College Sci-Tech Digital Hub. It will be a testbed for innovative ideas, supporting the Barnsley economy to grow, with digital and smart tech at the heart of it.
What is involved in Phase one of The Seam?
Phase one of The Seam was submitted for planning application at the end of August 2022. These plans initially involved a multistorey car park, residential, and an active travel hub.
However due to mounting costs, in part driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, Barnsley Council Cabinet approved a new approach. This will remove plans for a multistorey car park, and also the residential development. (See the full press release here)
Instead, the lower Seam car park will be extensively refurbished to create a more welcoming space for visitors, commuters, and businesses alike.
Plans will include public realm improvements to the high-quality standard seen at the nearby Glass Works, with enhanced lighting, CCTV, street furniture, and significant capacity for electric vehicle charging supported by solar power. We’re also planning to create a new high-quality urban green space which will further improve the welcome the town centre provides to workers, families and other visitors.
We’ll also be looking to improve cycle storage facilities to encourage more people to use active travel routes to and from our town centre.
With these changes, is it still a Digital Campus?
Of course! With the two DMC buildings and Sci-Tech College building, the space remains a place that encourages tech, digital and creative businesses to innovate.
What is involved in phase two?
The areas highlighted for phase two, include developments on Upper County way Car park, and behind the DMC 02 building. We're actively seeking funding opportunities for a second phase to further enhance the Upper Seam site as a destination for digital businesses. We very much see The Seam as the future of Barnsley's economy.
What are the aims of The Seam?
The Seam builds on this great work already happening and this phase one development gives us an accessible and innovative urban village and digital cluster within the town centre where we can try new ideas, support positive change for Barnsley and build towards Barnsley Council’s 2030 ambitions for sustainability and growth.
It's a development which will bring together people, learning, business and places to help grow more innovative, digital jobs and businesses, ultimately benefitting the Barnsley economy in a modern, urban setting.
How does the Tech Welcome Grant fit in?
In November 2022, it was announced the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) would be partnering with Barnsley Council to deliver a grant to attract Tech businesses into the region by funding office accommodation up to £10K for their first year. The Seam is acting as the delivery arm of the grant, as our team already has a working relationship with many of the key stakeholders in tech across South Yorkshire.