Despite building work slowing due to the pandemic, the scheme remains on schedule for a late 2021 completion, just a few months later than originally scheduled.
The recent Cabinet Report illustrates how the delay has been kept to a minimum thanks to the Council and contractor Henry Boot Construction Limited working together to ensure the site remains operational, while more importantly remaining safe and adhering to government advice on social distancing.While the site is currently operating at around 75% capacity, this is expected to increase in the coming weeks.
Ryan O’Loughlin, Director at Henry Boot, said:
“Our first priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our people and the communities we work in. The Glass Works project team have done a tremendous job in overcoming the unique challenges posed by Covid-19. The team continue to review how tasks can be performed effectively and safely, while operating in line with the government’s directives as issued by Public Health England.”
The report also details how – despite national uncertainty on the high street being amplified following the outbreak – the Council is in negotiations with two national names for The Glass Works, in addition to the ten operators already signed.
Those include leisure anchors Cineworld and Superbowl UK, retail anchor Next, Sports Direct including fashion arm USC, national restaurant chain Nando’s, independent restaurant MEET and the already open Falco Lounge, Coffee Boy and JD Sports.
Wednesday’s report also illustrates the support phase 1 Glass Works tenants have received since the country was put in lockdown in late March.Alongside traders inside Barnsley Market and Market Kitchen – the scheme’s independent food hall -tenants have received rent breaks to help them through this difficult trading period. This is in addition to grants already paid to several town centre businesses, further illustrating the Council’s commitment to positioning Barnsley town centre as a prime leisure and retail destination.
Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said:
“We are committed to The Glass Works now more than ever, illustrated by the measures we continue to take to ensure the scheme is a success. The Glass Works will lead the council’s economic recovery plan. We are committed to a jobs-led recovery – and the scheme continues to provide jobs in construction, which will be followed by the 1100 jobs the project will deliver long term.”
Paul Sargent, Chief Executive of Queensberry, said:
“We are pleased there has been limited disruption to construction. We have been liaising closely with our signed operators to ensure they remain committed to Barnsley and we are also currently undertaking a strategic leasing review to ensure that we are reaching out to operators that are the best fit for Barnsley.”