BARNSLEY Council is to invest a further £22.8 million into the borough's future growth to create a thriving economy bringing more businesses, visitors and up to 40,000 more jobs.

Its cabinet is set to approve plans to invest £15m more into the development of the town centre, as well as a further £7.8m for new schemes in its jobs and business plan.

Leader of the council Sir Steve Houghton said: "We’re seeing Barnsley as a business that’s struggled to reach its full potential in the past, by identifying its strengths and using them to gain a competitive advantage.

"We’re focusing on our town centre, which will give us huge economic returns, as well as driving the growth of business and jobs locally.

"We’ve had success in reducing unemployment rates recently - we now have the lowest numbers in the region of people claiming job seekers' allowance.

"We want to continue this trend by getting more people into work and creating better jobs. This plan will help us to make this happen."