Exciting times ahead forecast as £41m Barnsley town centre plans unveiled

AMBITIOUS PLANS for a complete overhaul of Barnsley’s town centre are today revealed in fine detail.

Streets, buildings and the town square are set to be transformed over the next three years as part of £41m investment designed to draw in more residents and visitors.

Included in the proposals is the new location for Barnsley’s central library.

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Demolition of the old building in Shambles Street took place this summer, to make way for a new sixth-form college on the site. The council wants to build the new “state-of-the-art” facility, which is due for completion in early 2017, in the area of Mayday Green.

A new landscaped town square is expected to be finished by October 2016, while a new shopping boulevard and market hall will open the following year. More immediate changes include a car parking facility on track for completion by November next year.

The plans follow an extensive public consultation exercise over how best to spend £41m to revitalise the town centre.

Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, leader of Barnsley Council, said: “Barnsley is going to look a very different place in three to five years time.

“People were clear about what they wanted. Among other things, we were told loud and clear that Barnsley needs to keep its markets, to create quality open spaces that feel safe, and to make sure business servicing and parking needs are met.

“Already we’ve had interest from the private sector, with people wanting to come in.

“The next three years are going to be exciting, creating jobs and opportunities for people in Barnsley.

“Town centres are no long just about retail and our plans reflect that.”

Chief executive Diana Terris said: “Barnsley will support the next generation of retailing.”