Today Cabinet approved the recommendation that a report on The Glass Works and wider town centre development be presented to Full Council later this month.
Cabinet was asked to consider a number of proposed recommendations about the funding required to complete the development which will create a modern and vibrant town centre and provide a strong retail and leisure offer.
The Leader of Barnsley Council, Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, said: “The positive impact of the development across the town centre is already visible. An investment like this not only stimulates inward investment and economic growth, it creates more and better jobs; our initial estimates suggest that the scheme will generate approximately 1100 jobs by 2025.
“The Glass Works is at an early stage in its development but there are already signs of new inward investment, such as interest from developers in the Courthouse Digital Campus project; and a number of new bars and restaurants open in the town centre, with additional ones planned.
“The total estimated construction cost of The Glass Works and the wider town centre redevelopment now stands at £178.1million. This will be funded from a combination of borrowing and reserves that have been set aside previously for the scheme. The borrowing and the day to day running costs will mainly be paid for from rents from the retail and leisure units, with the council also making a contribution from its own budget.
“The cost estimate of the development has increased to reflect a more up to date design for the scheme including an increase in its size and scope. It now also includes the wider public realm works, which will improve Queen Street, Peel Square and an area outside the transport interchange together with the construction of the Market Gate Bridge.
“Oversight, governance and value for money are at the core of everything the council delivers. We continue to stringently review all cost and income projections associated with the development, to make sure that value for money is demonstrated and achieved.
“The redevelopment of our town centre has been a priority for the council for many years. We want our town centre to be a thriving and vibrant place and it’s great to see the plans coming to life.”
Diana Terris, Chief Executive of Barnsley Council added: “There has been significant progress on the scheme already, with construction work on the Metropolitan Centre and the Library @ the Lightbox well underway. We’re looking forward to the main Barnsley Market Hall opening on Saturday 3 November and the Library @ the Lightbox in spring 2019.
“Construction on the first phase is now complete and we’ve just opened the new Barnsley Market Food Hall which looks fantastic.
“We’re confident that The Glass Works and improvements to the wider town centre will have a significantly positive impact for Barnsley residents. It will provide a vibrant and modern town centre and retail and leisure experience, which should in turn help to retain and attract more shoppers who currently leave the borough to shop elsewhere.
“This proposal supports our Corporate Plan of creating a ‘thriving and vibrant economy’ and creating ‘strong and resilient communities’. We’ll achieve this through developing a vibrant town centre, creating more and better jobs and good business growth, strengthening our visitor economy and protecting the borough for future generations.”