Barnsley’s revised regeneration plans reborn with new name

TOWN centre regeneration plans which fell victim to the recession were given a new name yesterday as council bosses signed off a “revised” agreement that will see the scheme significantly scaled back.

Documents for the £180m Barnsley Markets Project were first drawn up in 2006 and signed by Barnsley Council, regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and developer the 1249 Regeneration Partnership.

But by 2008 the idea had stalled in the downturn, and the demise of Yorkshire Forward left council bosses in an even more difficult situation, as it owned some of the land required for the development.

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Yesterday, council bosses unveiled the scheme’s new name – Marketplace Barnsley – while revealing that they had also now signed a new £125m agreement with developers with the authority alone responsible for sponsoring the work.

Council leader Steve Houghton said: “The council has already agreed to purchase the former Yorkshire Forward assets and the signing of the revised development agreement represents a clear commitment.

He added: “Both the 1249 Regeneration Partnership and the council are committed to moving the project towards delivery in a very difficult economic environment.”

Tony Baker, director of 1249 Regeneration Partnership, said: “Last year we announced the formal signing of Debenhams to this flagship £125m scheme.

“We are currently in discussions with a number of national retailers and in the coming months we will be announcing new retail names to Barnsley.”

The council said the project would provide a “major boost” to the local economy, regenerate almost a quarter of the town centre and create 1,300 jobs.