Artists, designers and creative practitioners are being involved in an extensive range of new work opportunities in Barnsley this year, as part of a bid to boost the creative economy post-Covid.

The Bounce Back scheme will give a cash injection worth £210,000 to the borough’s creative and cultural sector in 2022, investing in a programme of artwork commissions, cultural and community projects - as well as business development opportunities.

The scheme is funded by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) through an Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) worth £1 million which is dedicated to supporting the cultural and creative industries across the region following the pandemic.

The aim is to create new work opportunities for sole traders, independent businesses and local organisations; which will animate the borough with public art, events and cultural activities. The scheme includes the following:

  • Digital artwork commissions inspired by Barnsley’s The Seam will be awarded to three creative practitioners to create exhibits, events or interactive experiences which will be displayed at venues across Barnsley.

  • An artist will complete a residency at the Digital Media Centre (DMC), spending two months working with its community of businesses and technologists to produce a creative experience that will be part of ‘Bright Nights’ 2022 in November.

  • Community artwork projects will be led by artists and practitioners in the borough’s principal towns – Cudworth, Goldthorpe, Hoyland, Penistone, Royston, Wombwell.

  • Barnsley’s Museums and Heritage Trust and the Barnsley Civic have been given funds to invest in creative commissions to enhance the visitor and audience experience and bring new visions of Barnsley to life in 2022.

Barnsley Civic’s chief executive Anthony Baker said: “The Civic are delighted to be involved in this programme. We are using the Bounce Back funding to commission imaginative ideas for the ‘Love Barnsley’ programme in February. It is vital for the creative sector to have opportunities to work and through this funding we are able to help artists to continue making a living and bring important new work to the borough.”

In addition, through Bounce Back funding, 25 independent creative practitioners and organisations have been awarded Creative Development Fellowships worth £1,500 each, which come with business coaching provided by Mutual Ventures. This initiative aims to help them to develop and strengthen their businesses post-Covid.

South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “There is no doubt that South Yorkshire is home to a wealth of creative talent. The arts, culture and heritage sectors have been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic and investing in these areas is an essential part of their recovery and renewal.

“If supported and nurtured, the creative industries can help drive growth in our region and realise untapped potential. Culture adds colour to people’s lives and I hope this funding will help make our region a great place to live, study, work, visit and invest in.”

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “The Bounce Back programme is designed to get the economy moving again post-Covid by supporting development and funding projects in the creative and cultural sectors which will, in turn, animate the borough with public art and community-focused activity.”

Enterprising Barnsley is administering the creative and digital side of this Bounce Back scheme. Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust and the Barnsley Civic are handling the cultural venues side and Barnsley Council’s Principal Towns Team is overseeing the Bounce Back commissions in local towns.

Enterprising Barnsley, part of Barnsley Council, aims to help businesses across the borough and in all sectors develop and expand; generating economic growth and creating jobs. For more information visit: