As a place to consider relocating to in the UK, Barnsley offers some pretty compelling reasons to live here. The Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley comprises of several small settlements that make up a lively community. Residents enjoy a few advantages like good transportation links and beautiful countryside.
Most of the region is rural or non-rural, making it an ideal location if you prefer a place that is a little less crowded. I am more of an urban person but looking at what Barnsley has to offer, it’s a place I wouldn’t mind relocating to. It has just enough of a country feel to be charming and a bit of urban to be interesting.
Is Barnsley a good place to live? Barnsley offers a lower quality of life than nearby Leeds and Sheffield but makes up for it with nice neighbourhoods, both in the urban and rural areas. The cost of living is cheaper in Barnsley compared to other regions of South Yorkshire.
Barnsley has approximately 227,000 inhabitants over a 320 Km2 region. It is within a green belt, meaning that it is part of the efforts to reduce unrestricted urbanisation. The green belt acts as a border for various towns and villages. The coal industry was big in Barnsley, but that died down and gave rise to manufacturing, food in particular.
If you are looking for employment, the companies that have set up in different parts of the borough offer a range of prospects. Learn about the average salary, suitable neighbourhoods and working environments before moving to Barnsley.
Is Barnsley a Good Place to Live?
Barnsley lies east of the Pennines and consists of 10 towns and 23 villages that are populated with diverse communities. Although the borough doesn’t offer as large a mixture of different ethnicities as other parts of Yorkshire, it has a rich culture.
The people are friendly, which is always an advantage when relocating to a new place. If you prefer a region with sprawling green farmlands, then this is it. The Barnsley landscape also has some wooded valleys that compliment the rest of the region.
Smack in the middle is Barnsley town centre, which is the region’s main shopping area. Locals and out-of-towners love it for its market and retail centre. A majority of people from Sheffield prefer to shop here because they have numerous alternatives. Another plus side of living near the town centre is the proximity to public transportation.
For a person who has to commute often, staying in the town centre makes sense. The urban section has little villages surrounding it with vast tracts of land between them. Darton and Dodworth are among the affluent neighbourhoods in Barnsley. Here, you have family homes sitting on acres of land. For semi-detached suburbia, Redbrook, Barugh Green and Pogmoor, are the places to check out.
As with any other area, Barnsley has its less desirable neighbourhoods like Kendray. Due to the many bars and clubs in the region, some cases of antisocial behaviour are to be expected. However, you will find that crime is not widespread and is only present in pockets of different neighbourhoods.
Education is one of the reasons you may take Barnsley seriously when thinking about moving to UK. The borough has over 100 primary schools with a good percentage of them under the church. For secondary education, the region has ‘SuperSchools,’ which replaced the 14 secondary schools that served the area.
The new schools were created under the Building Schools for the Future programme and incorporated the previous LEA-run institutions. The borough has Barnsley College to cater for further education in the region. The higher learning institution is the largest in Europe and has campuses spread out across the town. There is also a campus for the University of Huddersfield.
The Barnsley Interchange is the primary transport hub, which rests at the core of the town. Formerly Barnsley Exchange Station, the station underwent a remake as part of the regeneration project. It combines a train and bus station that operates around the clock. Several rail services use the station, so commuters can easily get to Huddersfield, Sheffield and Leeds.
You can also get services to Nottingham and Chesterfield. Stagecoach Yorkshire is responsible for most of the bus runs in the borough. The town centre also benefits from the Dodworth and Darton railway stations. Robin Hood Airport is the closest to Barnsley at 42 Km away.
Barnsley is a bustling market town that always has something going on. With the regeneration of the town centre, the area is experiencing a transformation that makes it more interesting than its neighbours.
The place is filled with traditional Irish bars, restaurants and tea rooms where people can drop by for social engagements. Several community centres and social halls across different towns provide opportunities for locals to meet and interact.
Is Barnsley a Good Place to Work?
When the coal mines shut down, it was the beginning of the decline for Barnsley. However, with hard work like the regeneration programme for the town centre, the borough is picking itself up. The market is one of the aspects that have managed to keep the region going for a significant while. It also didn’t hurt when some companies set up here.
ASOS, the British fashion retailer, is one of the notable brands operating in Barnsley. Another employer is Premier Foods, formerly Lyons Bakery, one of Europe’s largest cake bakeries. Symphony Kitchens, Premdor and Ardagh Glass are some of the other companies in the area. Food manufacturing is a big source of employment for the residents of Barnsley, but the retail sector is the major employer.
Although retail centres and companies offer decent jobs in the area, unemployment rates are still higher than many towns in Yorkshire. The number of people without work is 4.7% compared to the national average of 3.3.
Barnsley’s average salary is not as good as others parts of the country, but it is decent at an average of £21,000.
The great transport connections make Barnsley a good place to work even if you have to commute daily. Whether you are hoping for a 9-5 job or opening a business, Barnsley has great potential.
Is Barnsley a Good Place to Buy a House?
When moving to Barnsley, you have to consider the property options available. Should you invest in an outright purchase or rent a place? Because Barnsley is cheaper than areas like Leeds, Huddersfield and sometimes Sheffield, property owners get more for their money. For this reason, it makes sense to buy rather than rent.
A one-bedroom rental in the city centre can average £420 while outside the town centre may cost you £320. Renting a three-bedroom will cost you approximately £563 a month and £504 outside the centre of the town. If you are buying, a one-bedroom home has a mean price of £30,000 while a more spacious place with say, three bedrooms, can cost £300,000 or more, depending on where you live.
The neighbourhoods with excellent schools such as Redbrook and Barugh Green will, of course, post higher asking prices for homes than parts like Ardsley, Monk Bretton and West Green. Areas near the town centre have a lot of demand, especially from young professionals who want to be closer to their commute.
The rural section of Barnsley is suitable for families thanks to the tranquil environment that it offers. Note that some areas of Barnsley have higher average salaries than others, so consider this when buying property.
Is Barnsley a Good Place to Retire?
The Barnsley countryside is one of the motivations for a retired person to consider moving here. Several parts of the borough have open land that spreads for kilometres, providing fresh air and gorgeous sights.
If a retiree is looking for a quiet place to enjoy peaceful days, this place has plenty of options. The green belt offers rural landscape features that inspire many leisure activities like fishing, cycling and walking. Retired individuals are assured of a good quality of life.
Retirement homes are not as expensive as in other regions, but they cost more than regular property. A three bedroom in a nice but not affluent neighbourhood can average £110,000 and a one bedroom at £40,000.
Less desirable neighbourhoods have lower prices. Alternatively, retirees can rent flats where a one-bedroom place is £400 while a three bedroom alternative is £550. How far the property is from the city centre will affect the asking price of a retirement property.
Is Barnsley a Good Place to Visit?
Barnsley is a vibrant place that you should visit when moving to UK if only to see some of the attractions. Stopping by this borough in South Yorkshire is a chance to explore the outdoors.
The expansive Barnsley countryside is a delight for anyone who loves outdoor activities. Venture into the walking and hiking trails to see the best of nature. Cycle, ride a horse or stroll the natural footpaths that line the picturesque countryside. From the Wentworth Castle Gardens to the Elsecar Village, there is enough nature to feast your eyes on.
Cannon Hall Museum Park and Gardens is fit for family fun. Discover crafts from the Austin era as you visit the different rooms in the museum. While there, pass by the Cannon Hall Farm for a unique tourist experience.
For an avid art enthusiast, stop by the Cooper Gallery to see some works from local artists. Visit Calypso Cove for water fun as you enjoy the indoor water slide.
Barnsley is perfect for short stays with numerous accommodation solutions available. Reserve a room at a quaint manor or book a traditional hotel room. Regardless, if you prefer staying close to the town centre or secluded in the woods, Barnsley has something suitable.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.