The Glass Works development scheme in Barnsley town centre celebrated a key milestone on Tuesday, as planning permission was granted for the next phase of the project.
The Glass Works is the 3.8 hectare, £130 million development scheme funded by Barnsley Council that is set to transform the heart of the town centre.
Construction has already started on the initial phase of the scheme, which includes the new state-of-the-art Library @ the Lightbox and a contemporary transformation of the Metropolitan Centre, which will provide a brand-new home for the town's famous markets.
The Library @ the Lightbox and the revitalised markets are all currently scheduled to open in 2018.
Following the completion of phase one, the second stage of the development, which was officially given the go ahead on Tuesday 26 September, will begin in autumn 2018. Work will include the 25 new retail units and 10 family-friendly restaurants, which will frame a new public square and extend along a new shopping route.
This phase will also see the delivery of The Glass Works' two key leisure anchors, Cineworld and Superbowl UK, who both signed 20-year leases earlier this year. Cineworld will provide a modern 13-screen multiplex cinema and Superbowl UK will offer ten pin bowling, Laser Quest and a crèche, providing a fun environment for all ages.
Barnsley Council and development managers Queensberry are working towards a completion date of 2020 for the entire scheme.
Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: "We are delighted to get the green light for this next stage of The Glass Works. The approval keeps everything nicely on track and within our projected timescales.
"Making Barnsley town centre a daytime and evening destination that families and friends can enjoy has long been a priority of the council. We are extremely proud to now have the opportunity to deliver a modern and vibrant town centre, served by the cinema, bowling venue, new shops and popular restaurants.
"It's great news for the town and the scheme will also stimulate inward investment, economic growth and create better jobs here."
Stuart Harris, Commercial Director and Co-Founder of Queensberry, said: "This is a major landmark for the scheme and we can now look forward to completing the great work that has already started.
"Before we began working in Barnsley, the comment we often heard was that the town centre didn’t have the right offer to keep people in town outside of work hours, particularly into the early evening. Changing that has always been one of our key goals and with the signing of our anchor tenants, Cineworld and Superbowl UK, Barnsley residents will no longer need to travel further afield to find first-class leisure facilities.
"The Glass Works has also attracted a lot of interest from nationally renowned retailers and restaurants and we look forward to announcing some of the new occupiers in the months ahead."
The Glass Works scheme has been designed by IBI Group, who also provided planning advice. Queensberry and Turner and Townsend are acting as development managers.