With construction progressing on the first buildings within The Glass Works, the council has set out further details on the next stages of the delivery of the scheme in a report that went to cabinet today.
Cabinet approved an additional investment of £8.3M in The Glass Works, as a result of an increase in the size of the scheme and the need to meet opening timescale requirements from key retail and leisure operators. This will require the delivery of the new market, the cutting-edge Library @ the Lightbox and public realm being accelerated, as the early completion of the work is crucial so that construction on new shops and restaurants can start on time.
The accelerated delivery will be funded by a range of financial measures, such as the use of the contingency sum which was provided for in the original estimate. This additional funding for The Glass Works doesn’t impact on any other investment the council has committed to.
Exciting plans about funding earmarked for wider public realm improvements to Cheapside, Queen Street, Midland Street and Peel Square were also discussed and design work is ongoing and will be subject to public consultation and cabinet approval later this year.
Councillor Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place said: “There is significant progress being made in the town centre; things are really moving on and there’s a lot of activity underway. This additional investment will see the transformation of our town centre is completed as soon as possible.
“We want to make the town centre look welcoming and attractive; improving the wider public realm will not only create a high quality feel to the town centre and provide a better experience for visitors, but it will also improve accessibility, especially for the key route to The Glass Works from the Transport Interchange.
“We know that our overall investment in the town centre will stimulate inward investment and economic growth, which is what this town needs. The Glass Works scheme is forecast to create around 800 jobs in the retail and leisure sector and also temporary jobs in the construction industry.
“We’re looking forward to the opening of the new Meat and Fish Market next year, followed by the opening of Barnsley Market, and later in the year, we will see the stunning Library @ the Lightbox open its doors. 2018 will be an exciting year for Barnsley, and a programme of town centre entertainment and events will continue to attract people into the town centre until The Glass Works opens completely in 2020.”
To view an amazing computer generated fly-through of how the town centre will look, visit www.glassworksbarnsley.com