Wednesday 2nd January 2019

Barnsley Council, alongside its development manager Queensberry, has announced that four new brands have committed to joining The Glass Works in Barnsley. JD Sports PLC, Café Bar Group Lounges, Muffin Break and MEET will collectively all be taking space at the £180 million transformational regeneration of Barnsley town centre, which is due to launch in 2021. 

JD Sports, Britain's biggest sports fashion retailer, has committed to opening 4,023 sq. ft. store on a 10 year lease. This latest letting to the self-proclaimed 'undisputed king of trainers', will open in 2019 and will be the first of its kind in Barnsley. The impressive store, complete with a state of the art fit out, offers shoppers exclusive styles from the best brands that are only available at JD Sports. This letting at The Glass Works, Barnsley follows JD's international expansion - having recently opened several stores in Australia and Malaysia. 

Lounges, which runs over 140 restaurant/café/bars under the Lounge and Cosy Club brands, has signed a 15 year lease, and will take 3,250 sq. ft. on the ground floor of Library at the Lightbox with a further 4,167 sq. ft. on the first floor under the guise of Falco Lounge. The chain, which originates from the west-country, will transform the space into a family-friendly retro-inspired cosy retreat that will cater for all tastes and will offer family-friendly fun with a selection of games and books along with its renowned eclectic artwork and oversized furniture. 

Muffin Break, the well-known bakery café/coffee shop, will be joining the line-up and has committed to a 1,400 sq. ft. on a 10 year lease. Muffin Break will offer customers a leisurely environment where they can enjoy an extensive menu serving a range of freshly baked muffins, cakes and cookies, alongside various savoury options including soups, sandwiches and wraps. 

In addition, MEET, originating from the local restaurant chain Backyard BBQ, is planning on creating a central meeting and dining concept developed for Barnsley town centre. MEET will take a 2,510 sq. ft. unit on a 10 year lease. 

Councillor Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, says: 

We are absolutely delighted to announce a further four retail and leisure brands for our flagship Glass Works scheme.This is a statement of intent and sends a strong, clear message of what we want The Glass Works to be. Not only have we signed up the country's biggest sports fashion retailer in JD Sports, but also an existing independent Barnsley business will be opening a new restaurant called MEET, illustrating our strong support of local businesses.We're thrilled that leading restaurant/café/bar Lounges will open next to the library at the Lighbox, and with café/coffee shop Muffin Break also taking a unit in the development, we're adding even more to the overall town centre offer. The redevelopment of the town centre is really progressing and we're already starting to see positive results. The new market is open and roaring with trade, while footfall is up 11 per cent on this time last year, bucking the national trend. We're committed to delivering the redevelopment of the town centre and that is evident with what we've achieved so far. It's not only what we're doing as a council with The Glass Works that is transforming our town. We've seen a raft of new independent businesses open across the town centre this year - helping us to diversify our offer. Barnsley is becoming a hotbed for investment and that's been proven with the amount of new businesses we've seen open their doors in 2018. 2019 promises to be another exciting year for Barnsley, and we can't wait to welcome these four new additions to The Glass Works."

Stuart Harris, Co-founder and Commercial Director, Queensberry, says: 

The fact that we are able to announce four more lettings is a testament to our ambition and plans for this transformative redevelopment of Barnsley. This year has seen Next commit to The Glass Works and Barnsley town centre continue to diversify, which has resulted in higher footfall throughout 2018. JD Sports is an iconic British brand and this will be another first for Barnsley. Furthermore, Lounges, Muffin Break and MEET will be a fantastic contribution to the offer at The Glass Works in Barnsley. The scheme has recently seen the completion of major elements of Phase 1 and, following the recent opening of the brand-new Barnsley Market, the team look forward to announcing further names throughout 2019 as Barnsley continues to attract through its multi-dimensional offering." 

Joshua Nixon, Head of Estates at Muffin Break says: 

We are very excited to open our first Muffin Break in Barnsley, with this store forming part of continued and rapid expansion programme in the UK. We are looking forward to offering our new customers premium 100% Arabica coffee and everything from sweet snacks to savoury classics, freshly prepared onsite daily."

These new lettings will sit alongside the exciting brands already secured for The Glass Works, including a 13 screen multiplex Cineworld, Superbowl UK and Next. In addition to bowling, Superbowl UK will bring its Laser Quest and Crazy Club soft play offer. 

The development, which is located on a 3.8 hectare site, will provide 500,000 sq. ft. of retail and leisure uses. With the first phase of construction now complete - following the opening of the brand-new Barnsley's historic Market - preperation for the next phase is underway. This will include a cutting edge central library, community space, a 494 multi-storey car park and high-quality public realm.