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News » WAB Debate

Barnsley Town Centre - A WAB Debate

Monday May 13 2013

What do you think to the town centre? What do you think to the town centre?

WHAT do you think to Barnsley's town centre? What do you think to its shops? What would you change about it? There's a new questionnaire out for you to express your opinions.

Barnsley Voice is made up of a group of businesses and organisations in the town, and they're keen to know your thoughts.

They're asking people why they come to the town, what they like about it, what they dislike about it and how they think it can be improved upon.

So, what do you think? To fill out the questionnaire, click here.

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30 Showing 30 comments

Reply Posted by vanessa on Monday May 13 2013 at 10:30
It could be improved on alot of things. Ok there are some decent shops but not really enough. Especially for little boys there is no clothes its all for girls. There are so many empty shops in barnsley n soon enough there will be np trade at all because it just seems to be getting worse.

Reply Posted by jill on Monday May 13 2013 at 11:04
I couldnt tell you the last time i went shopping in town as theres nothing there that i cant get elsewhere

Reply Posted by Pilky01 on Monday May 13 2013 at 11:13
Barnsley seem's to have a target market of people over a certain age.. there's not much to draw in the younger generation... hence the reason most go to Meadowhall, Sheffield or Leeds...

Reply Posted by Ray on Monday May 13 2013 at 11:56
Barnsley has deteriorated as a shopping centre over the last 10 years, too many charity and low value shops, the market is a shadow of its former self and always seems to be closing down after 2-30pm .?? Trouble is most Barnsley folk are skint and I can't see that situation improving unless someone builds a big factory nearbye. Still we can always look at the Town Hall.

Reply Posted by Chris morris on Monday May 13 2013 at 12:21
After living in Sheffield for 17 yrs its a pleasure to go shopping in Barnsley knowing I can do what I need to in an hour an I don't have to hump my shopping up an down . shopping in Sheffield was nightmare too many people too many shops too much traffic an as for meadow hall you can keep that give me good old barnsley any day

Reply Posted by claire on Monday May 13 2013 at 14:11
Barnsleys shops consist of 99p & pound shops and numerous charity shops no baby / toddler stores just next which isnt in everyones price range ...

Reply Posted by Robert Teal, Chair, Barnsley Voice on Wednesday May 15 2013 at 08:56
Hi Claire,

Do try Viv Priestley's shop at the bottom of the Arcade, next to Frank Birds. There are some LOVELY baby items there.


Reply Posted by Old Dirty Kipper on Wednesday August 7 2013 at 23:09
Don't forget bookies...

Reply Posted by les on Monday May 13 2013 at 19:01
I vote for more poundshops you can get 16 condoms......that saves a fortune on having kids

Reply Posted by Market Trader on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 06:06
Barnsley is broken and the fix is unfortunately not a quick one. The town centre has been allowed to degenerate and the start of it was the council slapping compulsory purchase orders on shops to make way for the new shopping, which almost 12 years later still hasn't got the legs to get off the ground. Meanwhile a reluctance to put money in to keeping the area up to standard due to the promise of this new venture has also taken it's toll.

Although the Town Centre Management team are now trying to fill these shops, the businesses occupying them are not really giving off the best impression, with either no shop signage or signage that looks like it's been cobbled together in the kitchen and window displays that are less than enticing. It just adds the impression that we are town of charity, junk and pound shops.

Barnsley is well known for being a market town, but it's famous market is on it's knees. There's been a distinct lack of investment in to the market over the last 10 years due to the fact there's a new market to be built, but when? At this rate there will be no traders left to go in to the new place.

The cost of parking has been increased again, and while there is free parking on a Saturday half the spaces are taken up by half eight with town centres workers bringing their cars in as it's cheaper than catching the bus like the do the rest of the week. Result = limited spaces for shoppers! A better idea might be to offer the first hours parking free of charge all week long, then charge by the half hour after that.

I also think the council would do well to employ someone with an extensive background in retail to work alongside the Town Management Team as they seem not to have a good understanding of retailers and their needs.

Reply Posted by Robert on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 10:23
Make BARNSLEY OPEN FOR BUSINESS by putting the road straight through it, instead of these pesky by-passes! Plenty of safety barriers for the children, crossing monitored by the idle traffic wardens and ample FREE parking. All of this will 110% make our town prosperous! Get your finger out BMBC and make this happen... BARNSLEY for BARGAINS...

Reply Posted by jan on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 11:45
Barnsley town centre was great place to shop when my kids was little loads of shops for kids things and market was packed but where as all that gone and they wonder why people shop any where else if we not careful only thing been use in town centre will be bus station and pubs

Reply Posted by Zoe on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 11:59
Its the parking problems that put me off going to Barnsley. Its expensive and hard to find somewhere to park! The town itself is generally good and I can usually get everything I need when I do go into town. Its just the parking that stops me going

Reply Posted by stevo on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 18:14
Low end shops for low end people.

What impression does it give when we have a Lidl at the gateway to the town?

Scruffs and scratters shops like TKMAXX, Primark and Sports Direct are the main beneficiaries.
There are only three shops I would go in anyway, Originals, Ghia and Frank bird, Other than those three then its Meadowhall for me.
I can be there and back in an hour and get everything I want, parking is free and its nice and warm in winter, there are no shouty alcoholics or smackrats pestering for "busfare" money like there are in Barnsley.

I mean come on, even Wakefield which was WORSE for shopping than Barnsley even has a brand new purpose built shopping centre with a Debenhams at the centre of its main shopping hub.

As usual the buffoons at BMBC have been promising us a "Tuscan" village and a "halo" for years and all we have ended up with is idiotic buildings taking up car parking space.
The Core anyone, DMC Anyone?

Reply Posted by Robert Teal, Chair, Barnsley Voice on Wednesday May 15 2013 at 09:06
Hi Stevo, Zoe and Market Trader,

Barnsley has a group representing pubs, shops and other bodies that have close links to the Town Centre: Barnsley Voice. Businesses and organisations are WORKING (for nowt) to come up with ideas to improve the Town. Our next meeting is at 8am, The Core, Friday 17th: Market Trader, why not attend? Or maybe the evening meeting on Monday 20th, 5:30pm, Joseph Brammahs?

Of course we're all busy; I have two shops in Town to run myself. I find that I get to know what's going on by attending AND get a say in the Policing Priorities for the Town and the chance to influence the siting of new signage for example.

Best of all I meet other businesses and organisations who have overcome the same problems as me in innnovative, positive ways. I learn a lot every meeting: hope to many meet other business owners and managers in the future.


Reply Posted by stevo on Wednesday May 15 2013 at 18:49
A bunch of businessmen discussing how to "maximise" their own business opportunities per chance?
Reeks of self promotion Mr Teal.
Tell me Mr Teal, why did you sell your highly profitable business in Darton for an extremely good profit and then go on to buy another outlet close the town centre and colleges?
Surely to maximise ones profits?
I am not knocking you per se, admirable you being able to trade for a considerable profit and being able to expand to another outlet.

I wont be attending any of your meetings as I am an extremely busy man , however, if it is true that you have a say in policing priorities, then I suggest you out the following proposals on the table:
Get the Police to issue "move on" notices to the shouty Alcoholics that congregate around the "mushroom" and in Peel Square.
Then perhaps you may see an increase in trade in Barnsley.

Reply Posted by guesty mcguest on Monday May 20 2013 at 07:32

I have read the minutes from one of your meetings and must say as with your address above a lot of hot air is expelled, but not a lot is said, even less done.

Using buzz words and stating the obvious whilst promoting yourself is not in the best interest of the town.

Barnsley Town center is stuck in a time warp, we are in the same situation now as we were mid nineties - with the promise of regeneration and asking peoples opinions on what they want, whilst ignoring them and not developing the area, through lack of money, there always seems to be some for expensive consultation and plans though.

If you are serious about your meetings then you need to get tougher with the council, I know you won't though as you are trying to court your way into power within the borough and being a bit prickly won't help your chances.

Didn't you stand for police crime commissioner too - just how were you going to continue with your shop work, regenerating the town centre whilst picking working enough hours to pick up that 85k per year salary for an unqualified position?

Reply Posted by stevo on Monday May 20 2013 at 13:30
Si I take it you know Mr Teal too then guesty?

Only in it for what he can get out of it.

Unfortunately, this is the sad truth.

Reply Posted by les on Thursday May 16 2013 at 18:24
The thing that i find wrong with barnsley is like some say all roads take you out of barnsley the old ceag building was empty too long.
The carpark is a shitty throw back of 70s concrete people just throw litter anywhere. and herds of men in high vis jackets are running round like termites cleaning up after everybody a couple of weeks ago it was windy.the fish shop round th corner from samuels had a bin outside full to overflowing the wind was sending chip packets everywhere and the high vis team were trying to keep up with it while 2 staff in an empty chip shop were just stood there cackling to each otherthe place is filthy. if the council want to encourage people to use barnsley and enjoy it. they should give free parking everywhere. have cheaper rents for shops and stallholders so people can afford to make a business work.clean the place up
and fine anybody a tenner for littering including shops..
That will pay the car parking loss and encourage people to have more pride.
If your knocking sheffield rd shops down
Get on with it and build new shops

Reply Posted by Mark on Sunday May 19 2013 at 17:17
The problem is Barnsley isn't big enough for high end shops. The rent is too high so small business's can't afford to run it nevermind to live on. We are not a very rich town..look around at all the estates ,there's not many on good wages.
It will take a miracle and the new high speed train wont improve it either.
I spent an afternoon sitting in Barnsley town centre just watching the people going about their business but I saw a hell of a lot of folk just dropping litter,swearing,drinking and had no consideration for other poeple. I thought Barnsley had a good community. I try my bit to help. I took my son to the park and somebody had left what looked like a small picnic,crisps packets,cans of beer and pop and nappies. I put all that crap into the bin..lazy complete lazy.
We need to show more willing and bring Barnsley back upto scratch

Reply Posted by Sarah on Sunday May 19 2013 at 17:29
Shops are rubbish and no where nice to eat..either rubbish dirty cafes or pubs.

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Sunday May 19 2013 at 19:39
Sarah there are plenty of decent lunchtime places to eat but that all depends on what you're after - Cooper Gallery Cafe, Victoria Tea Rooms, Aroma Cafe, Pollyana Cafe, Pinochio's lunchtime, Civic Cafe etc all serve decent lunchtime light meals. Have you tried any of them - give them a go you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Reply Posted by Dannyboy on Sunday May 19 2013 at 18:05
I found the message left by HMV staff quite fitting 'so long and thanks for all the fish, enjoy your ghost town while it lasts'

Reply Posted by Dannyboy on Sunday May 19 2013 at 18:05
I found the message left by HMV staff quite fitting 'so long and thanks for all the fish, enjoy your ghost town while it lasts'

Reply Posted by SS on Sunday May 19 2013 at 18:25
we need a more variety of shops in town,we still get people from all over visiting town had a coach of fifty people from Nottingham a few week ago.Get people from Rotherham,Sheffield,Huddersfield and Halifax in the shop I help out in.

Reply Posted by janice giles on Sunday May 19 2013 at 18:39
dont know why people come to shop in barnsley all the best shops have gone only 2 decent shoe shops went loking for a dress to go to a function in went in every shop in town all for young kids the town looks a mess waiting to be knocked down all charity shops

Reply Posted by Chris Corbett on Sunday May 19 2013 at 18:41
We need a major shopping mall in Barnsley like Meadowhall or White Rose etc. we need to compete with other towns and cities and boost Barnsley's trade.

Reply Posted by guesty mcguest on Monday May 20 2013 at 07:34
Meadowhall could have been in barnsley but BMBC weren't interested in the proposal, the same for Xscape.

Reply Posted by owd fred on Tuesday August 6 2013 at 17:53
I know it can't happen but take the shopping areas back to the 50/60s when there was a real choice,all the market areas were real markets old fish market, market hill full of stalls, little bit of a fairground for the kids, great banter with stall holders, instead now the lack of anything worthwhile
great job Barnsley council, modern planning to ruin the town
and pull down that eye sore alhambra centre

Reply Posted by hally on Tuesday August 20 2013 at 21:27
Barnsley born and bred and I can remember when we had a proper market. It used to draw visitors from nearby towns because of the quality of the goods it sold. The atmosphere around the old covered stalls was fantastic with the competeing banter from the stallholders. The town has gone downhill since the opening of the current market opened. All the character has gone from it and with a few exceptions tha quality of goods is apalling. Alot of people, my self included would rather go into Leeds or York for the day. My wife moved to Barnsley from Scotland in the late 70's and used to love the town centre but even she is apalled to see how far downhill the town has gone.