Library @ the Lightbox opens as a ‘cornerstone’ of The Glass Works

Library @ the Lightbox – the first new build of The Glass Works development – officially opened its doors to the public on Saturday 13 July, with a jam-packed day of celebrations and family entertainment.

The grand opening of the Lightbox saw the Mayor of Barnsley, Cllr Pauline Markham, officially open the building with a special ribbon cutting ceremony, which was followed by speeches from Leader of Barnsley Council, Sir Stephen Houghton, Chief Executive Sarah Norman and Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central and Mayor of the Sheffield City Region.

Locals were then given the opportunity to go and explore the state-of-the-art community hub, while enjoying special live musical performances.

The Library @ the Lightbox forms the cornerstone of the wider town centre redevelopment, which has already seen the celebrated transformation of our famous Barnsley Markets. Future plans also include a Cineworld, Superbowl UK, 26 new shops, seven family-friendly restaurants and high-quality public realm improvements.

With its striking design and transparent glass exterior, the library will illuminate the new town square as the regeneration edges towards a 2021 completion.

Each of the unique four floors in the library provides a range of digital services including cutting-edge virtual reality, a training suite complete with a 65-inch interactive touch screen, tablet computers and a variety of innovative technology.

The fully accessible, modern building includes a sanctuary room for people with autism and will play host to a Music and Memories Group supported by the Alzheimer’s Society. The Makerspace lab on the ground floor will be used to promote interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from a young age.

Meanwhile, the library’s events space will act as a multi-purpose venue able to hold large events, workshops and activities, while its rooftop terrace will offer fantastic views of the town centre.

Cllr Jenny Platts, spokesperson for Adults and Communities, said:

“This modern and adaptable facility is filled with natural light from its glass exterior and white bookcases create a calm yet inspiring atmosphere.

“A big thank you to Henry Boot Construction, Queensberry, Turner and Townsend and everyone involved in the development of the Library @ The Lightbox. It’s a fantastic building and Barnsley should be proud of it.

“I want to give special thanks to the people of Barnsley for their cooperation and patience while we’ve carried out this work. We can’t wait for you all to see it.”

Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central and Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said:

“I am delighted that Barnsley Council have opened a brand-new central library. It is a fantastic resource for our Town; helping to bring people together and making Barnsley an even better place to live, work, visit and invest in.

“As a former Shadow Libraries Minister, I have long championed the importance of libraries as a unique and important public space and I encourage our residents to make the best possible use of this brilliant new facility.”