Barnsley Council’s cabinet met yesterday (February 9), to discuss a report that stated the cost of Barnsley town centre’s redevelopment is set to rise to £210m, and members were asked to approve a further £600,000 for the town’s flagship scheme.
Councillor Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture told councillors that footfall is “extremely healthy”, and the town centre attracted more than half a million visitors over the Christmas period.
“1.6 million people have visited the Glass Works.
“We achieved almost half a million visitors in the December Christmas period, which is fantastic.
“The development has been 90 per cent let.
“[The report] also mentions a number of areas where additional works are required in order to improve the customer experience.”
The report states that the current capital cost of the Glassworks stands at £209.9M , and “several additional cost pressures have since materialized”, totalling £1,402,500.
An underspend of £736,000 will be used to contribute to the increased costs, and the remaining £667,000 will be funded “from a reduction in the running costs of the Glassworks development during 2021/22 due to the six month delay in opening”.
The cost pressures include £225,000 incurred as a result of the delays to the new Market Gate Bridge – £140,000 for “Barnsley Football Club temporary bridge security” and South Yorkshire Police road closures, and £85,000 for bridge maintenance and cleaning.
The costs also include £38,000 for CCTV, £56,500 for “wayfinding and totemsignage”, £43,000 for traffic management on Cheapside while the basement was “out of commission”, and £50,000 to recolate the centre management team.
Councillor Sir Steve Houghton CBE, leader of the council, told members that the expert high street task force had visited Barnsley last week to discuss the furture of the town.
“We’re not complacent because we know there is a challenge,” he told the meeting.
“[People] are usually complementary about the work that’s gone on in Barnsley. There’s still challenges, nothing’s perfect and we’ve got the wider town centre to think about.
“We are going to complement this with a fantastic new footbridge across the railway line. We don’t do bog standard in Barnsley.
“Some of our colleagues on this council thing bog standard will do for Barnsley. No it won’t.
“And that bridges costs have increased but the increased costs have been picked up from elsewhere not within the council, so why shouldn’t we have a fantastic new footbridge to compliment this fantastic new Glass Works development?”