Welcome to the future: How Barnsley town centre is to be changed forever

The face of Barnsley town centre is set to radically changed thanks to a massive new multi-million pound leisure complex, it was announced today.

A £70m funding package has been agreed that will see Barnsley Council commit to fund the second phase of their transformative town centre redevelopment programme.

Leisure giants Cineworld and Superbowl have both been confirmed as anchor tenants with the scheme expected to be completed by May 2020.

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Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council along with developer Queensberry revealed the plans for the second phase of The Glass Works, the new name given to the 3.8 hectare town centre development, located around Cheapside.

Both said it will provide a 590,000 sq ft family-led offering, comprising a range of new shops, restaurants, multiplex cinema and bowling - alongside a brand-new home for Barnsley’s historic markets, a cutting-edge central library and quality public realm.

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 deliver this transformational development to £120 million.

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 Councillor 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. 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.”

Kevin Frost, property director at Cineworld, said: “We are delighted to have signed up to anchor the leisure offer at The Glass Works Barnsley.”

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. In advance of this, local people are being invited to view and comment on the plans.