Last week members of our project team made a long-awaited trip to Barnsley Market, having heard a great deal about the Council's regeneration programme and about the Market's central role in the community. These plans aim to provide a new setting for the market as a central part of the Town's ‘Glass Works’ redevelopment, making it more visible and accessible. We were particularly keen to learn more about the community value of the market, to help us to decide whether to use Barnsley as one of our project case studies. We also wanted to gauge the impact, both positive and negative, of the ongoing redevelopment works and gain a more detailed understanding of the schedule for this process.
NMTF Liaison Officers Kieron Hunt and Keiron Knight provided us with an overview on arrival and we spent time chatting with traders to gain their perspective on the market and the changes ahead. Paul Clifford (Head of Economic Development) and Maria Cotton (Market Manager) then provided more details about Barnsley's Council's strategy and view on progress. What emerged was a mixed picture with great optimism, knowledge and affection for the market clear from some quarters and uncertainty and a degree of scepticism from others. However, it was clear that the council is very committed to thinking strategically about the market's place in the town centre and interested in our project aims.
After visiting the market, Research Fellow Myfanwy Taylor attended the Yorkshire Markets Forum, held at NMTF's offices in Hoyland, where she presented the research project and progress to date before inviting comments and suggestions. Many thanks to all those who took part in the discussion!