Scaled-down market scheme receives approval

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SCALED back plans for an overhaul of Barnsley town centre and its markets complex have been approved by councillors - after original proposals became a victim of the recession.

The original Barnsley Markets Project was drawn up in 2004, by Barnsley Council and soon-to-be defunct regional development agency Yorkshire Forward.

A development partner, the 1249 Regeneration Partnership, was taken on to develop the site providing new shops, flats and an indoor and outdoor market.

But by 2008 the entire £180 million project had stalled due to the worldwide economic downturn.

Since then, Barnsley Council has been casting around for a way to restart the scheme.

A meeting of the council’s cabinet approved the new, scaled-down plan - which is set to provide most of the original aspirations, including a new market.

But it now needs planning permission.

A council spokesman said: “The revised design is in keeping with the original design principles and it is deliverable within the financial constraints of the scheme.

“It does not incorporate the previous residential element, but the other key components of the Barnsley Markets Project have remained primarily the same.

“Based on the current programme, the developer should begin construction in autumn 2012, to be completed in autumn 2015.”

Barnsley Council said a ‘key condition’ to ensuring the development goes ahead on time means the council acquiring all land, and the current stake held by Yorkshire Forward interest - while 1249 Regeneration must secure finance.

A spokesman for the developer said: “The project will significantly overhaul the centre and provide over 1,300 additional jobs for the town.”