Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, and its development management partners Queensberry and Turner & Townsend, have released plans for a landmark £8 million investment to enhance the town centre’s public realm. The proposals, revealed today, form a central part of the wider regeneration of the town centre to create the new £130m mixed-use destination, The Glass Works.

Due to go to public consultation in December, the redevelopment of the public realm will include a brand-new public square and comprehensive improvements to the existing space, which will invigorate Barnsley’s retail and leisure heart and connect it to the historic heart of the town.

Included within the proposals are a cascading water pool, family-friendly outdoor dining venues and permanent outdoor market stalls, which will create a vibrant new destination for visitors to enjoy alongside the existing redevelopment of the seven hundred year old Barnsley Markets.

Councillor Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, said:A quality public environment can have a significant impact on the economic life of our town and has always been an essential part of our regeneration strategy. Businesses are attracted to locations that offer well-designed, well-managed public places and these in turn attract customers and services.

“The new public areas will glue together The Glass Works development with the rest of the town centre and create an overall sense of place. The main square will create a new location in the heart of the town for people to socialise and relax.”

Should planning consent be approved following public consultation, the phased programme of works will get underway in April 2018 and be completed in 2020 to align with the opening of the retail and leisure phase of The Glass Works.

Stuart Harris, Co-founder and Commercial Director, Queensberry, added: “An enhanced town centre that attracts visitors to Barnsley, whilst serving the needs of the immediate catchment, has always been central to our vision. Public realm is obviously key to this, as it will set the tone for the retail and leisure occupiers we are looking to attract, whilst providing the perfect stage for the new Barnsley Markets including the Market Kitchen, Lightbox @ The Library and the pre-lets we have already agreed with Cineworld and Superbowl UK.”

The Glass Works is located on a 3.8 hectare site around Cheapside and will provide 500,000 sq ft of family-led day and night time retail and leisure uses. The Glass Works scheme has been designed by IBI Group, who also provided planning advice. The scheme is scheduled for completion in May 2020.