New-central-libraryThe futuristic design for Barnsley’s brand new central library, part of the town’s £50 million redevelopment, has been unveiled today.

This follows the announcement of proposed plans for the town centre last August, when artists’ impressions and a detailed prospectus was launched. The central library design is the next step in this exciting development timeline. The new library is expected to open in early 2017, and will be situated on the corner of May Day Green and Eldon Street and will form part of the New Town Square.

Designed to be the beacon of the town, the aim is for the library to have a transparent glazed skin that emits light to illuminate the new public square. Offering almost double the space for IT facilities, the building is designed to meet the needs of our new generation of technology-savvy learners. The building’s low energy use will cost less to run, and the useable roof with great views over the town offers great opportunities for functions and events.

Speaking about this exceptional new design, Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place said: “The central library is just one part of the overall town centre development scheme, and its high quality design sets the standard for the new town centre. The town centre plans, set to boost regeneration and investment in the town, have been developed by working with our customers and partners.

“We’re creating a vibrant, walkable, family friendly town centre full of opportunity and potential. It will be compact enough to be welcoming and accessible, but large enough to have a high quality market, shops, leisure and cultural facilities.

“All contractors for the project will be local wherever possible, with a focus on giving local young people new skills in construction.”

Town centre map
The Better Barnsley town centre development proposals include a central public square, refurbished and extended Metropolitan Centre, new library, new central car park, and a series of sites for development. Changes are underway already, with the outdoor market relocated into the main shopping precinct in October, and lots of refurbishment work done on surrounding streets. The design is also underway for the new Metropolitan Centre, which will be partially extended and refurbished.

The total investment of the town centre regeneration project is £50 million, which is capital budget earmarked to support the council’s ambition to encourage economic growth. This isn’t money that could be spent on other public services, and won’t affect the council’s ability to deliver front line services. It will create local jobs and attract further funding, investment and development.

Time line for next steps
OJEU notice for procurement of main contractor published – 9 January 2015
Market briefing session for interested contractors – 26 January 2015
Central offices demolition starts – April 2015
Demolition of bridge across Kendray Street – April 2015
RIBA Stage 2 designs for the library and Met Centre – June 2015
Main contractor to be appointed – 13 July 2015
Further demolition – October 2015 onwards
RIBA Stage 3 detailed design work for library – November 2015
New car parking – Expected November 2015
RIBA stage 3 detailed design work for Met Centre – December 2015
New town square – October 2016
New central library – Expected early 2017
Revamped metropolitan centre and market hall – early 2017
New shopping boulevard – 2017

Phasing construction work around live markets is complex and challenging. All timescales are the best estimations at this stage of the project, subject to further structural and survey work.

People can find out more and view the full town centre proposal by visiting, or by popping into the Better Barnsley Shop (former HMV unit) in the shopping precinct. People can also follow Barnsley Council on Facebook for the latest updates.

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