Businesses in Penistone are queuing up to move into new industrial units, created with the help of business support programme Enterprising Barnsley.
Penistone Paper and Board used a grant of around £175,000 to part-fund turning a disused warehouse into five units for light industry. These filled immediately leaving a waiting list for more.
The grant was handed over by a developer as part of planning permission for houses elsewhere in the town. The funding, called Section 106 money, was aimed at creating business starter units and employment opportunities in the area.
Paul Fearn, co-director Penistone Paper and Board, said: “We were thinking about what to do with the building that we only use to store giant rolls of paper, when advisers from Enterprising Barnsley told us about the Section 106 money and then helped us get it. Without their help and the funding we couldn’t have done this.
“We got an amazing response as soon as we told people the space was becoming available and hardly needed to do any marketing.”
The building has been converted into five 1,000 square foot units and one 3,000 square foot unit. The new businesses include a bicycle frame manufacturer, a tree surgeon, a steel stockholder and a craft paper company. On the waiting list are a brewery, car dismantler and clothing company.
The Enterprising Barnsley programme is designed to help high-growth businesses in the borough in order to create much-needed jobs. It is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency (BDA) and Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) and is supported financially by the European Union.
The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
Andy Arnold, a business development manager with Enterprising Barnsley, said: “Part of our work is putting people in touch with each other and in touch with schemes and pots of funding that they need.
“It really is just about joining up the dots so that we can help businesses and they can help each other and create much-needed jobs.”
Paul said as well as creating space for light industry it had created another income stream for the company, which had been hit by the recession.
Penistone Paper and Board take unwanted or damaged cardboard and industrial-sized rolls of paper and turn them into useable board and sheets of paper for everything from fast-food containers and toothpaste tubes to writing paper for schools.
“There has been no growth in the market because of the recession, so diversifying into renting out space is a very useful source of income for us. And because of the demand and the waiting list we are now looking at building purpose-built units on another part of our site,” said Paul.