HUNDREDS of new jobs will be brought to Barnsley over the next few years following the launch of the UK’s first investment zone in South Yorkshire.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, alongside the leaders of South Yorkshire – like Coun Sir Steve Houghton – announced the plan recently.

It’s expected to create 8,000 new jobs and bring in more than £1bn worth of private investment by 2030.

In Barnsley, it’s expected the new zone will have an impact on new business parks as well as supporting the town centre’s regeneration scheme.

Sir Steve said: “Although the focus of the project covers Rotherham and Sheffield, the Investment Zone will bring strong benefits to the whole of South Yorkshire.

“The wider programme will provide us with new opportunities for growth and development in our borough.

“It will enable us to attract new businesses, provide scale up support to those already here, and create new jobs, which will bolster our local economy through opportunity sites at J36, J37 and in Goldthorpe.

“For The Seam, our digital campus in the town centre, South Yorkshire’s Investment Zone will bolster the already attractive offer for innovative

businesses looking to make the most of our pre-existing cluster of digital and tech companies and strengthen the growing reputation for Barnsley as a destination for digital businesses.”

The Investment Zone – the first of 12 new zones built around universities and high-growth industries – will build on the success of South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID), expanding it to incorporate Rotherham town centre and Sheffield city centre, with Opportunity Sites across Barnsley and Doncaster.

The government’s first investment is more than £80m and it will help the region build on strengths – with the hope of making Barnsley the best place to start, scale or relocate a new business.

South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard said: “Our Investment Zone will help put South Yorkshire back where we belong – at the forefront of this country’s manufacturing-led growth.

“Technology created in South Yorkshire built the modern world.

“Because in South Yorkshire we have always known how to deliver practical solutions to big challenges.

“Yesterday it was stainless steel and our coal industry, today it is AI, Robotics and creating lighter, stronger materials for Jet Zero.

“That’s why this new Investment Zone status is so important.

“Because with the support of partners like Boeing, and working with the government, we’re showing we have the tools, the technology and the confidence to build on our strengths as not just the world’s first, but the world’s best Advanced Manufacturing District.”