Civic leaders, guests and shoppers gathered yesterday morning in Barnsley, as the town centre’s newest public space, The Glass Works Square, was unveiled for the first time.
The square was officially opened by Mayor Cllr Caroline Makinson at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which also saw speeches from the Mayor of the Combined Authority Dan Jarvis and Deputy Leader Cllr Jim Andrews.
The £200m development will be launched in phases over the next six months, with the opening of the new public square the first major milestone.
The Glass Works Square significantly enhances the accessibility and connectivity of the town centre by providing direct access to and from the Transport Interchange, as well as creating a high-quality and attractive public space for people to enjoy, meet and relax in.
Excited shoppers were seen eagerly queuing outside TK Maxx, Next and Sports Direct, which also opened their doors at 9am this morning.
Throughout the day, an exciting programme of family activities are taking place in the square, including glamorous stilt walkers, children’s storytelling and a funky brass band.
The entertainment continues on Saturday, with the action running from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Including magnificent aerial acrobatics from The Dream Engine. Their breath-taking show will feature a giant 12.5m vibrant red heart – symbolising the new heart of Barnsley’s town centre.
Autumn will see this exciting calendar of activity continue, with more new stores opening, colourful visitor events and the opening of Superbowl UK. While Cineworld’s state-of-the-art 13-screen multiplex will open early next year.
Following the phased opening period, it is anticipated that 90% of the development will be let – significantly enhancing the town centre’s retail and leisure offer.