Barnsley’s new town centre retail complex has grown in scope so much since plans were first drawn up that it needs to be redesigned to incorporate an operations office to allow managers to oversee its full range of functions.
The Glass House is being remodelled from the old 1970s Metropolitan Centre under a regeneration scheme being funded by Barnsley Council.
Originally the expectation was that management staff for the complex would be accommodated in existing council offices elsewhere in the town centre.
But the council’s ruling Cabinet has now given the go-ahead for architects to design an operations office into the building, because the scope of the duties which has now emerged means it would be impractical to have staff based off the premises.
The Glass Works will have more retail space than was first intended, along with leisure attractions and managers will be needed on site with responsibilities for specific elements of the complex, including the market, public square and boulevards which will be created, alongside the regular retail areas and leisure facilities.
Councillors who approved the scheme were told there is roof space, which previously accommodated plant equipment for the old Metropolitan Centre, which could take the office.
That will include a reception area, security office and control room along with office space and meeting rooms.
A ‘value engineering’ exercise will now be carried out to try to get the work for the lowest possible cost, but the building schedule means some work will have to be started quickly, with an expected cost of £300,000 and it is unlikely any cost reduction work will be available for that element of the scheme.
A full update on progress with the Glass Works, including a financial update, is expected in the early summer.
It is expected the first tenants will be in their units by the autumn of this year.