LOCALS are being offered free training to encourage them to set up more businesses in Barnsley.

The move comes after the town was named as one of the worst in the country for business start-ups - with half as many new businesses being created compared with places like Brighton and Aberdeen. The scheme, called SmartStart will run from April 1 at Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) at Wilthorpe.

Tim Milburn, Chief Executive of BBIC, said: “There are some great businesses in Barnsley, but nowhere near enough of them. We need to help people find their feet and foster and nurture their new businesses. “All we look for is someone prepared to give their time and energy to developing their business. All we ask is that they are serious about growing the business.”