Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and its development manager Queensberry have today made a major funding and occupier announcement about The Glass Works, Barnsley – the retail-led scheme that will transform the heart of one of Yorkshire’s best-loved towns. Having already committed £50 million to fund the first phase of the scheme, Barnsley Council has now committed to fund the remainder of the scheme, bringing its total investment to £120 million.
The Glass Works, the new name given to the town centre development, is located on a 3.8 hectare site around Cheapside and will provide 590,000 sq ft of family-led day and night time retail and leisure uses. The development will include a range of new shops, restaurants, multiplex cinema and Superbowl UK, alongside a brand-new home for Barnsley’s historic markets, a cutting-edge central library and quality public realm.
Alongside the funding announcement, development manager Queensberry also announced the first occupiers as Cineworld and Superbowl UK. Cineworld has agreed a 20-year lease for a 13 screen multiplex cinema and Superbowl UK has taken 18,000 sq ft, also on a 20-year lease. In addition to bowling, Superbowl UK will bring its Laser Quest and Crazy Club soft play offer.
Marking the occasion, Barnsley Council Leader Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton said: “We are delighted to announce that we will be funding the delivery of The Glass Works, the new and exciting leisure and retail scheme in Barnsley town centre. We are investing another £70 million, in addition to the £50 million already committed, making a total investment of £120 million, giving Barnsley something it has lacked for a long time. This has been a priority for the council for many years now and we are finally moving forward and giving Barnsley what it deserves; a vibrant town centre.
“We haven’t taken this decision lightly; we’re confident that it is the right thing to do and will contribute towards building a thriving economy. An investment like this will stimulate inward investment, economic growth and create more and better jobs by providing around 800 new retail and leisure opportunities and temporary jobs in the construction industry.”
Stuart Harris, Commercial Director and Co-Founder of Queensberry, said: “We’ve reached a major milestone in the delivery of The Glass Works. By committing to fund the second phase of the scheme, Barnsley Council has taken the type of proactive and innovative approach needed by forward-thinking local authorities.
“We have received an impressive level of interest from occupiers, and are very pleased to announce Cineworld and Superbowl UK as The Glass Works’ first confirmed occupiers. They will bring a strong leisure offer into the heart of the scheme that will appeal to all ages throughout the day, and into the evening. We’re looking forward to making further key occupier announcements in the coming weeks and months.”
Superbowl UK, an independent family run business, currently has six venues around the UK. The new Barnsley venue will boast 12 state-of-the art bowling lanes, Crazy Club, soft place centre, stylish lounge bar and food diner, as well as an modern amusement arcade arena.
Commenting on Superbowl UK’s decision to join the development, Kate Quaintance-Blackford, Company Director, Superbowl UK, added: “We are really excited to be launching a brand new centre in Barnsley. The Glass Works presents us with the opportunity to showcase our stylish and unique offerings, whilst delivering a high quality, customer focused service at competitive prices.”
Kevin Frost, Property Director at Cineworld, commented: “We are delighted to have signed up to anchor the leisure offer at Glass Works Barnsley. The scheme lends itself to one of our new next generation regional destination multiplex cinemas. The cinema will be arranged as 13 auditoria with over 2,000 seats anchored by a full height 450 seat Super Screen. All auditoria will have the very latest digital surround sound systems with curved wall to wall, floor to ceiling screens, stadia seating and plenty of leg room.”
While construction is ongoing on the first phase of the scheme, Queensberry and Turner and Townsend, as development managers, will shortly submit a planning application for Phase 2. The scheme is scheduled for completion in May 2020.