Experience the future of Barnsley town centre… now!

Visitors to the Tour de Yorkshire on 4 May will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a special virtual reality tour of The Glass Works – the transformative retail and leisure development currently under construction in Barnsley town centre.

 IBI Group, a global technologydriven design practice, and the architect for The Glass Works, are using a state-of-the-art method to showcase the development to the people of Barnsley and key stakeholders.

Initially created as a 3D flythrough video, the firm has now developed a ground-breaking VR experience, allowing individuals to be transported into the completed town centre and actually walk around it, looking in any direction they please.

The Glass Works is the 3.8-hectare, £130 million development scheme funded by Barnsley Council. Construction has already started on the initial phase of the scheme, which includes the new Library @ the Lightbox and a transformation of the Metropolitan Centre, which will provide a brand-new home for the town’s famous markets.

The second stage of the development, which includes Cineworld, Superbowl UK, 7 family-friendly restaurants and 26 shopping units, including a new 20,000 sq ft store for Next, will begin later this year.

Officially called the Virtual Barnsley Experience, the event will be taking place in the former Shopmobility store at the Civic Hall, Eldon Street. The VR kits were joint funded by IBI Group, Queensberry Real Estate, Henry Boot Construction, Mott MacDonald, NPS Group Barnsley, Turner & Townsend and MT Dawe Projects Ltd.

Seamus Lennon, Studio Director at IBI Group, commented:

“IBI Group is delighted to be able to bring the Virtual Barnsley Experience in time for the Tour de Yorkshire celebrations on 4 May.

“We have put a lot of time into creating this fantastic experience and can’t wait to put the headsets on the people of Barnsley and the local media. It’s an amazing opportunity to show them their striking new town centre first hand.”

The Glass Works VR is just one of the many activities taking place on 4 May, when the Tour de Yorkshire rides into town. There will be a live music and entertainment event taking place at Mandela Gardens, showcasing some of Barnsley’s finest talent, artisan food stalls and lest we forget… it’s also Star Wars Day.

Experience Barnsley, the award-winning museum, will host a free Star Wars exhibition that sci-fi fans won’t want to miss, which includes one of the country’s finest collections of Star Wars memorabilia, toys and posters.

There will also be a fully sized X-Wing starfighter, characters patrolling the streets and your chance to get your picture taken with the film series’ iconic characters in the museums… May the 4th be with you Barnsley.