Regeneration boost as B&M announce new store in Hoyland development
A delayed development in the regeneration of a Barnsley community is to move forward with general retailer B&M now confirmed as tenant for a major new store – as councillors work to bring about more changes.
The council has been working with development firm Resilienti for several years to modernise Hoyland and that has already seen the market redeveloped, a Boyes department store open and a new car park created.
But the scheme was dealt a blow when plans for a Netto store on Market Street were scrapped as Sainsburys changed their plans nationally for the discount chain.
However, it has now been confirmed B&M will take over the whole building, with fitting out due to start soon, with the expectation of an Autumn opening in a move which will create around 30 new jobs in addition to more flexible shopping opportunities.
There are now two new challenges for the area, however, which has lost its Post Office branch and is to see its central Co-op supermarket – housed in the old town hall building – close at the end of this month.
Councillors representing the area are now actively working to address both issues, with Coun Jim Andrews stating they were hoping a new location for a Post Office counter could be found.
It had been in a pharmacy on Market Street but the organisation has now lost that accommodation and, Coun Andrews – also Barnsley Council’s deputy leader – said they were searching for an alternative.
The former town hall is now in private ownership, with planning permission currently pending which could see apartments created on the upper floors.
Coun Andrews has floated the idea that Barnsley Council could be in a position to acquire the lease to the ground floor, if terms could be reached with the owner, which would give the authority better control over how it was used.
The Co-op’s decision to close the shop had been a surprise, but Coun Andrews pointed out that outside market days Hoyland was now without an independent butcher or greengrocer, making shopping more difficult for locals.
An option for the future of the Co-op’s premises could be to create smaller units, increasing the variety available for shoppers, he said.
Coun Andrews said: “B&M is good news for Hoyland, naysayers were saying it wasn’t coming. They are now moving in for the shop fit and hopefully it will be under way quite soon.
“What we are also doing is pushing the Post Office, there are people wanting it,” he said.
It was possible the vacated Co-op could provide space for a new Post Office branch, if those with existing businesses interested in incorporating a counter were unable to proceed, he said.
That would involve negotiating with the building’s owners, however.
Hoyland’s independent traders have formed their own association to promote the centre as a shopping location and held a Saturday gala recently to attract more people into the area.
They are now hoping to arrange a festive event to drive up trade in the approach to Christmas.