£200m transformational Barnsley town centre scheme set for opening next month

Construction work on The Glass Works – Queensberry Real Estate and Barnsley Council’s transformative town centre development scheme – is almost complete, with hoardings coming down next month to reveal the town’s new public square.

The £200 million investment is part of a major council-led plan by Barnsley Council alongside the specialist development and investment company, Queensberry, to regenerate the town centre. The Glass Works is part of a wider town regeneration programme to make Barnsley an even stronger social, cultural and visitor destination.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, construction has been able to safely continue and is set to be completed only a couple of months behind the pre-pandemic timeline.

Following the lifting of key restrictions, all existing elements of The Glass Works – including Library @ The Lightbox, Barnsley Markets and Market Kitchen – have reopened to the public. This also includes retailers such as Falco Lounge, Coffee Boy, JD Sports and Deichmann.

The full scheme will be launched in phases over the next four-to-six months. The first new openings, which will take place on 9 September and include Next, TK Maxx and Sports Direct (with USC), with Flannels anticipated to follow.

Alex Hyams, Senior Leasing Manager, Queensberry, commented: “Over the last 18 months the pandemic impacted on occupiers’ ability to open new stores nationally, which has, unsurprisingly, caused some disruption to the leasing efforts in Barnsley.

“Nonetheless the town has continued to perform well when compared to what we’re seeing in many parts of the UK. Interest and confidence in Barnsley and The Glass Works has remained strong. We continue to build momentum and have a very exciting pipeline of interest, which will lead to further announcements in the coming weeks and months. Watch this space.”

A spokesperson for Next said: “We are very excited to be moving to our new store in Barnsley town centre. We have great confidence in The Glass Works and moving to a larger, more accessible and highly visible store enables us to deliver the maximum retail experience for both our staff and customers alike.”

Cllr Steve Houghton, the Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “The opening of The Glass Works Square and removal of the hoardings is a truly great moment. It gives everyone a chance to see the scale and quality of their new public space. It really improves the links between all key areas of the town centre and makes it a more enjoyable and attractive place to shop, work and relax.

“We have lots of exciting cultural events and activation ideas for autumn and are looking forward to seeing the square come to life during our large-scale winter events as we move towards Christmas.

“Although Covid has forced some of our signed occupiers to adjust their opening timelines, we are delighted with the finished product and just like the public, we are very much looking forward to more shops, bars and leisure venues opening soon. We have a great line-up of businesses fitting out units and getting ready for opening – it should be an exciting opening period.”

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