Yorkshire is having a make-over

Towns and cities across South Yorkshire are going through substantial urban regeneration projects.

Urban regeneration is the attempt to improve the physical structure, and the economy of the area. In all regeneration programmes, public money is used as an attempt to pump private investment into an area.

Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster have all received large grants from investors and councils to completely transforms the town centres with shops, cinemas, leisure centres and restaurants.

The developments are aiming to bring in a boost of tourism and residents and are set to provide great opportunities for businesses looking to start-up and grow in the area.


The mining town of Barnsley has partnered with commercial developers Queensberry, and Turner & Townsend to renovate the town centre with a new shopping centre, The Glass Works which includes a 13-screen multiplex cinema and Superbowl UK. In addition to bowling, Superbowl UK will bring its Laser Quest and Crazy Club soft play. Also involved in the town centre development is a new home for Barnsley’s historic markets and a cutting-edge central library.

Having already committed £50 million to fund the first phase of the scheme, Barnsley Council has now committed to supporting the remainder of the scheme, bringing its total investment to deliver this transformational make-over to £120 million.

The development is set to be completed in 2020 and has already won several awards including the National Urban Design Awards, Practice Award; a top national accolade for architecture practices involved in the urban design.

 Glass Works


The home of the famous racecourse, Doncaster is under a 15-year development to revamp the city centre.

New shops, learning and healthcare facilities, green open spaces for the local community and a new marina will be created to enhance their opportunity to live, work and play. It is anticipated that the scheme will generate up to 9,000 jobs and be responsible for more than £400 million of investment over the first 12 years. The council said both public and private money will fund it.

Doncaster is said to be in a solid place as regeneration and investment are at a high. Last year saw a record number of recorded investments at over £250 million with the highlights being new builds for Amazon, Hitachi Rail and the new National College for High-Speed Rail.

Over 1200 new jobs have been created across a range of business sectors with Doncaster now being in the top five cities in the UK for improved business growth.


The recently announced, Forge Island in Rotherham is expected to bring more people to live and work in the town.

Forge Island, the centrepiece site of Rotherham Borough Council’s town centre master plan, is among a busy portfolio of schemes. Alongside Forge Island, there will be a new library and a refurbishment of the Civic Hall.

Across Rotherham, in Waverley New Community near the Advanced Manufacturing Park, where 3,890 homes will be built, along with shops, a health centre, parks and schools. In Bassingthorpe Farm site at Greasbrough, another community development is set to start in either 2020 or 2021 on with more than 2,400 new homes, employment space and a primary school.

HMP Bespoke Construction are working on the Rotherham project. HMP’s Director, Peter Hill said: “These are exciting times ahead for all concerned with this prestigious scheme, and we look forward to it moving forward with the additional regeneration of Rotherham town centre, bringing in new restaurants, entertainment and leisure facilities to help new residents to live, work, rest and play and most importantly creating new town centre jobs."

Markets new entrance from Tesco web sizeForge Island web size

The main reason these towns are going through a complete overall is to address the issues of unemployment, poor health, crime and education. However, the local councils who are managing the projects have been largely criticized over the investments and disruption to the local businesses.  

Other cities such as Sheffield and Leeds also have plans to make over the local area.  Sheffield train station will be welcoming HS2 train and developing the retail quarters. Leeds is also set to be the home of the eco-friendliest city as it prepares for residents to move into a zero-carbon living area. This help to drive Leeds air pollution down making it a healthier place to live.

As an active member of the local community and Yorkshire, we are thrilled to see the developments taking place right on our doorstep.

If you an employer who is moving to the local area and want advice about your recruitment process, salary expectations and sourcing candidates, then contact our expert team of recruiters. 

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