Digital Media Centre expansion will lead to over 100 digital jobs

Digital Campus

Following significant growth in the last three years, the Barnsley Digital Media Centre (DMC 01) is kicking off its expansion with the creation of DMC 02 which will help to create over 100 digitally skilled jobs in the local economy.

Owned and managed by Barnsley Council, DMC 01 has seen strong and sustained occupancy levels with over 50 companies calling the innovative space home. As a complementary part of the £180M town centre wide regeneration, The Glass Works, the DMC buildings are at the heart of a new Digital Campus which will see business and education work more closely together to enable more and better jobs to be realised in the Borough.

The DMC 01’s long-standing ability to create a community which drives creative, digital businesses and products has resulted in the need to expand following significant growth in its member businesses over the last three years.  

Following the acquisition of the former ‘Core’ building in spring 2019, Barnsley Council has been supported by investment from Sheffield City Region to provide larger office space for Barnsley’s growing businesses looking to scale up, while providing a like for like atmosphere and community that the current 50 plus tenants of the DMC 01 value. The new DMC 02 will open in summer 2020. A £1.7M refurbishment will provide eight large offices over three floors, with a ground floor co-working space and a brand new maker space and Internet of Things lab which will aid companies, students and start ups in their development and progress.

DMC 02 Artist impression

Martin Oldham, Commercial Director for Bob’s Business, a DMC 01 Tenant, said: “For us, the DMC 01 provides a community-based workplace that our business sector of cybersecurity fits perfectly in. As a rapidly growing company, the larger office space which matches the DMC values is an exciting one.”

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture said: “We also need to provide inspiration through the Digital Campus. We’ve seen success in the DMC 01, by being a trailblazing place to work in Barnsley that encourages co-working, collaboration and creativity which fuels the success of Barnsley, as well as its businesses; we will continue these values into DMC 02 and the Campus.”

Driving and developing the purpose of the campus has been down to the local ‘TechTown’ project group as well as senior public and private sector stakeholders including Barnsley Economic Partnership. The TechTown group brings together partners from business, education and the public sector to work together, establishing bold plans and a digital future for the town, connecting the dots between education, economy and place making.

DMC 02 will work alongside DMC 01 as a place for anyone with a digital business idea to start and scale their company and as a collaboration space for companies wanting to do more with technology in their own business.

In collaboration with this, forming a key part of the campus, Barnsley College will begin the redevelopment of the SciTech building to create a digital learning hub as the College pilot the new Digital T Levels, Digital Apprenticeships, as well as provide new innovative courses in digital industry from September 2020.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, said: “We want to provide a complete journey around more tech and digital jobs. The college will start the process, providing courses that meet business needs and a range of skills that inspire creativity with digital and tech. We already have businesses with requirements for more people with digital understanding and skills, the college’s commitment to provide this is a huge bonus to Barnsley and those building business here.

 “We are working closely with local, regional and national industry collaborators including Sheffield City Region, IoT Tribe, Capital Enterprise, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Sheffield and the AMRC to develop a range of programmes and projects to ensure that our development is as user friendly as possible, focused on our customers and has maximum impact.”

Martin Oldham, said: “We also love the development of the bigger picture. We’ve previously struggled to find local people with the skills we desire, so providing a wider Campus that can help close that gap is incredibly important for us and the town.”

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “It’s great to see the Digital Media Centre is going from strength to strength. It will be a hugely important part of Barnsley’s contribution to the future of digital technologies in the North.

“I’m pleased that the Sheffield City Region has invested more than £2million in the centre, creating more than 100 jobs and new opportunities for digital businesses to start up, grow and thrive.”

Minister for Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “This government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and levelling up the regions throughout the Northern Powerhouse by ensuring every community has the support and investment it needs to flourish.

“Thanks to £2.13 million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund the Digital Media Centre in the heart of Barnsley can rapidly expand, offering support to local businesses and helping students gain the skills they need to succeed.”

Work has now commenced to develop the existing ‘Core’ building following the appointment of Yorkshire construction company, Harris CM with NPS Barnsley as project managers with a completion date planned for summer 2020. Enquiries are being taken via the DMC team at dmc@barnsley.gov.uk