Bill for Barnsley's town centre redevelopment increases to £190million

Details of an extra £10m bill for Barnsley’s town centre redevelopment have emerged, pushing the overall costs of the transformation up to £190million.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 2:47 pm

The scheme centres on the Glassworks complex which has been rebuilt from the skeleton of the old Metropolitan Centre.

It also includes the flagship Lightbox library building, a cinema and bowling complex as well as a new multi-storey carpark and other modern features including new CCTV.

Costs have crept up through the course of the development to a total of £180m for the construction work, but the council will now have to find another £10m to meet other costs, including money to meet loans in the early years of the project and to meet operating costs before the complex is completed and fully occupied.

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Details of new costs - totalling £10m - for Barnsley\'s town centre regeneration project have emerged

Coun Tim Cheetham, the council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Place said: “The positive impact of the development across the town centre is already visible. An investment like this not only stimulates inward investment and economic growth, it creates more and better jobs; our initial estimates suggest that the scheme will generate approximately 1100 jobs by 2025.

“The total forecast capital cost of the scheme is currently unchanged.

“The figure quoted in the Audit Committee papers includes costs unrelated to construction. Those costs include early year borrowing and centre operating costs incurred before the development is fully open.

“An update on the development is due to be presented at Cabinet in March.

“Oversight, governance and value for money are at the core of everything the council delivers. We continue to stringently review all cost and income projections associated with the development, to make sure that value for money is demonstrated and achieved.”

However, costs for the overall development are kept separate from the finances for the Glassworks market, where rents for stallholders in the upstairs section were recently halved.

It also emerged that a significant number of stallholders are in arrears with their rent and this week the council took against a trader, formally taking charge of their stall on the ground floor, pasting a formal notice on the stall to confirm the lease - dating from July last year - had been terminated. It was later removed.