Second stage of Glass Works scheme set to kick-start Barnsley's post-Covid bounceback

The new retail and leisure powerhouse that is the Glass Works has transformed Barnsley's skyline, and is set to make the town a destination of choice for shoppers, families, film buffs, foodies and bowling fans.

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 12:30 pm

Land that was once home to a pebble dashed multi-storey car park will soon boast a modern glass shopping arcade that any city centre would be proud of.

Henry Boot Construction - who built the original car park in 1971 and are now redeveloping the site - have ensured that jobs have been created for local people. Out of the project team, 96 percent live within 25 miles of the town centre, with £24m of subcontract orders placed with Barnsley businesses.

When complete, the Glass Works will feature 25 new shops, seven restaurants, bowling alley, laser quest, soft play centre, and a 13 screen Cineworld cinema featuring a 4DX screen, all centred around a public courtyard.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Behind the scenes tour of trhe Glass Works, Barnsley. Development Manager for Queensberry Rob Hughes pictured in the new Shopping Centre....16th September 2020..Picture by Simon Hulme

The centre is already 60 per cent let, with shops such as TK Maxx, Deichmann Next, Sports Direct, and Nando’s already signing up to let retail space.

Ahead of the scheme opening to the public, which bosses hope will be in a years' time, leader of Barnsley Council Sir Steve Houghton CBE says that investing £120 million into the scheme was the "right thing to do", especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It creates 1000 jobs, which is obviously what were going to need post-Covid," he added.

Sir Steve added that the first part of the Glass Works, which includes the market, Library at the Lightbox and foodhall Market Kitchen, has already become an attraction for the town centre.

Behind the scenes tour of trhe Glass Works, Barnsley. Cllr Steve Houghton CBE the Leader of Barnsley Council is pictured...16th September 2020..Picture by Simon Hulme

"Bus trips have started coming back to the market again, even though the scheme's a year from completion.

Sir Steve added that it had been "challenging" watching the scheme come to fruition, as it "can't come fast enough".

"At the start, we had a lot of people saying we've heard it all before, but now people can see the benefit. Barnsley is now the top 10 towns and cities for economic recovery," he said.

"Footfall's back to 80 per cent so it's clear that people want to get back out again."

Behind the scenes tour of trhe Glass Works, Barnsley. ....16th September 2020..Picture by Simon Hulme

The council leader says that the scheme is only the start for Barnsley, as attention is turned to the rest of the town centre.

The council's sight is set on Eldon Street and the Civic, following a £2m cash boost from Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone fund.

"The Glass Works is the beginning, not the end", said Sir Steve.

"[Barnsley] is going to be a retail and leisure destination, not just for the people of Barnsley but from outside Barnsley as well. Places like Market Kitchen are hugely innovative - people who have been to Manchester and London are saying what you've got in Barnsley is better than what we've got.

Behind the scenes tour of trhe Glass Works, Barnsley. ..16th September 2020..Picture by Simon Hulme

"This is a landmark, and we're counting down from today to the opening, and hopefully when people come to Barnsley, they will see the kind of town that the 21st Century wants."

Thank you to all who support local journalism with a digital or print subscription to The Star. The events of 2020 mean trusted, local journalism is more reliant than ever on your support. We couldn't do it without you. Subscribe here www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions so we can keep campaigning on your behalf. Stay safe.

Behind the scenes tour of trhe Glass Works, Barnsley. .16th September 2020..Picture by Simon Hulme
Behind the scenes tour of trhe Glass Works, Barnsley. ...16th September 2020..Picture by Simon Hulme