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More than 20,000 mining jobs have been lost from pits in Barnsley since the early 80s. Not a single working pit remains and the spin off effects in terms of jobs lost and businesses closed down multiplies the effect 10 fold.
Barnsley people set about tackling this disaster by doing two things - relying on themselves, and, building partnerships.
One successful partnership was the one which we bid for and won, City Challenge funding for the North East Corridor of Barnsley stretching from Oakwell out to Shafton along 5 miles of the A628 Pontefract Road and encompassing 25,000 people.
The partnership, led by the Borough Council included the Chamber, South Yorkshire Police, the TEC, the Local Community, the College and others.
As ideas developed and projects were identified it became apparent that a large number of projects might benefit from being accommodated in one centre. Social Services had been hoping to involve Barnardos in the area, Duncan Gawthorpe the local secondary head teacher, local entrepreneurs Brian Smith and Bob Willis added their views and ideas and Terry Herbert of the TEC gave a strong lead in developing the idea. The involvement of the then South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Richard Wells was also important.
It was not all "top down". As the partnership realised they might win the £37m City Challenge funding community surveys were undertaken and views were canvassed on what a new centre should include and how it should be designed as an important element within the overall programme.
When the Barnsley Partnership bid was approved we had a good idea of what needed to go in the Campus building, and what the community wanted to see. The final design and actual operation of the Campus is regarded as having achieved a very successful marriage of these requirements.
The Campus cost £2.815m to build, 7 1/2% of the City Challenge budget. The City Challenge Board set up a sub-committee to oversee its development as a flagship of the City Challenge programme. A Campus Director Alan Wallace was appointed in September 1993 and work commenced in November the same year. Keys were finally handed over and we opened for business on 6 February 1995.
Priory Campus (the building) was originally 100% funded by a capital grant from the City Challenge programme in North East Barnsley. The Campus cost about £3 million to build.
Doors were opened in February 1995 and so the Campus enjoyed 3 years of revenue support for its activities until the City Challenge programme ended in March 98. The revenue support from 95 –98 was on a declining basis and the Campus team worked hard to build other income streams and so ensure the long term financial security of the Campus.
Recycled funds have been allocated to the Campus from surpluses generated by commercial developments funded by City Challenge in previous years. If the Campus (or a similar body) didn’t get these funds, they would simply revert to central government.
Apart from this 11% contribution via recycled funds, the Campus earns or generates all its financial requirements through a mix of leasehold income, professionally delivered services in the field of training, meeting room and day Conference Facilities; and special project funding.
Special projects have included College of the Web which drew down European and National Lottery Charities Board income, our Homework Club which brings in youngsters 4 evenings a week and is funded by Single Regeneration Budget and Lundwood Community Project which is managed by a local community group and draws on Churches Urban Fund and South Yorkshire Police Community Initiative Funding.
The Campus has already established a reserve in its accounts and is financially secure without placing any burden on the Community Charge payers. Quite the reverse, the Campus generates significant economic activity, has directly led to the creation of new additional businesses and jobs, is visited by about 1700 people each week and levers in substantial additional funds to the Barnsley area.
From an early stage in its development a consensus emerged that the Campus would need two factors to be successful; Partnership and Independence.
To build a partnership and achieve an independent status, the appointed Campus steering group convened several workshops, took advice from outside, looked at best practice elsewhere and agreed a way forward. While the Campus building was still under construction a legal structure was proposed and agreed.
Priory Campus is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. This company holds the building as an asset and lets space to agencies and groups which deliver educational, enterprise and community support to local people.
Priory Campus owns a trading company (Cammag Ltd.) which conducts all the non-charitable trading activities at the Campus and covenants all profits to the charity.
The Campus Directors, report to the Board of Trustees and heads up a growing staff of which many are directly involved in operating and maintaining the building including the day to day management and the commercial letting of our training and meeting rooms. This team is also responsible for long term development, financial planning and new projects.
A much wider range of services and activities is delivered by the partner agencies, which are resident in the building.
The Campus Partnership Board and staff team have achieved an accepted independent status as a partner with the community, the Borough Council, College, TEC and Chamber. The Campus is a full member of the Development Trusts Association and plays an active part regionally and nationally in this body. The Campus is also a full member of Voluntary Action Barnsley and plays an active role through the Campus Director's membership of VAB's Management Committee.
6th July 2017
Priory Campus are the best at providing
professional quality Conference Facilities with
the greatest value in the borough. We offer
dedicated Training rooms that seat from 12 to 60
people, a Large Hall seating 250 people theatre
style with movable stage, top quality catering for
FREE EQUIPMENT USE Priory Campus values each and
every booking to our conference facilities. In
addition to fantastic rates, Priory Campus assist
your booking further by offering various equipment
FREE OF CHARGE including FLIP CHARTS and PENS / PA
SYSTEM inc MICS / HEARING LOOP
Priory Campus have a range of Wedding reception
packages to suit your needs.
We offer... A choice of elegant rooms Seating from
30 up to 200, a selection of quality menus
including Breakfast menus, Carvery and Buffets and
a variety of extras including Red Carpet, Colour