Glass Works: The Mid September Update

It has – unsurprisingly – been some time since I was last able to document the state of Barnsley’s Glassworks project.

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Current indicative occupancy plans.

The Lambra Road car park. Since my last visit a large amount of cladding has been added. This will have space for around 500 cars.

The rotunda for vehicle access to the carpark.

The south-west entrance taken from the Cheapside entrance to the Alhambra Centre. Since my last update the majority of the cladding has been completed however the windows have still not been fitted. There also seems to have been no movement on the covering for the covered walkway. To the upper centre right (just behind the Alhambra Centre sign), you can see the top of the newly cladded carpark.

A night shot of the south west entrance and potential future coffee shop. A large banner advertises a – possibly optimistic – 2021 opening.

The box that will become the Cineworld Cinema, taken from the northern entrance to the market. On completion the hoardings will be removed to reveal a new public area.

The site of the future public square. Behind are shops with the Cinema above and to the right of is the future covered walkway leading to more shops and the Lambra Road car park. The shop space on the right is currently earmarked for a TK Maxx. While this is still firmly a building site, it is far less chaotic with far less construction supplies than when I visited in late January.

The future bowling alley and restaurants from the west end of Kendray Street. Topped out and insulated, this is now awaiting the external cladding. Passage along Kendray Street towards the Interchange is now closed.

The Eldon Street side of the new bowling alley. In person the large, windowless upper wall looms over the street.

The Midland Street side of the bowling alley. The windows make this area less imposing than the Eldon Street side.

Another view of the Midland Street side of the bowling alley. The alley’s main entrance will be in the left hand side of this wall.

The side of the future cinema looming over Midland Street.

The Midland Street turning circle framed by the cinema (left) and the bowling alley buildings. This would be the natural access route for anyone arriving via the Interchange.

The cinema from the temporary footbridge over the railway. Between the cinema and the bowling alley you can see phase one’s new library building.

The rear of the cinema and shops as they face onto the railway. A service road will run between the building and the railway line.

The temporary footbridge over the railway. This has now closed for preparatory work for a replacement permanent structure.

The temporary footbridge and cinema from the station. Unfortunately, the industrial nature of the upper part of the cinema is somewhat uninviting though signage and lighting may change that.

Glass Works: The Late January Update

After my early January update, I had not planned on doing another of these until mid-February (at the earliest!). However, given the current pace of construction and the discovery of several new viewing location, I have had a change of heart.

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The south-west entrance taken from the Cheapside Hill. Very little has happed over the last month and this unit appears to be waiting for it’s external cladding and glazing to be installed.

The south-west entrance with a better view of the canopy structure that will protect the pedestrian concourse form the elements.

The roof of the previous building taken from the Alhambra Centre’s rooftop carpark. To the right you can see the structure of the new carpark.

The new car park peaks over the top of the old. I believe that this has topped out and that there are no additional floors to be added.

The new car park. The core of the structure appears to be complete however the floors have yet to be installed.

The new Glassworks car park taken from the north-east end of the Alhambra Centre car park. It is significantly taller than anything in the immediate area.

A composite image taken from the Alhambra Centre car park entrance on Lambra Road. With the new structure, Lambra Road is significantly more canyon-like than before.

The east end of the car park and the centre frame for the car parks’ access rotunda.

The car park and rotunda. The car park access road will branch from Lambra Road at roughly the point where the left blue site offices are. This branch will also serve as access to the shopping centre’s goods access road.

The future bowling alley and restaurants from the west end of Kendray Street. In the past month the steel work has crept west across the site and the first elements of the Eldon Street frontage have been installed. Passage along Kendray Street towards the Interchange has also been reduced to a narrow pedestrian walkway.

A closeup of the bowling alley and restaurants’ structure from Kendray Street.

The east end of the bowling alley and restaurants’ structure. This area has now been closed to taxis and will, in the future, be landscaped as a pedestrian area at the west end of the new railway footbridge. The taxi rank will be retained (to the right) on Midland Street with the taxis returning along Midland Street to their destination.

Facing south along Midland Street. To the left is the Interchange. To the right is the structure of the new bowling alley and restaurant complex. Behind is the cinema, shopping centre, and carpark.

The north end of the cinema. This was taken approximately where the former junction to Midland Street from Kendray Street was located.

The north end of the cinema with the future access road to the left.

Panorama taken from the pedestrian footbridge over the railway.

From left to right:

  • Access road.
  • Cinema
  • Public square (now partially obscured by the cinema)
  • Phase one’s library.
  • Bowling alley and restaurant complex.
  • Interchange.

The future square and shops – taken from about half way along Kendray Street. Like the shops on Cheapside, there has been very little change here over the past month.

The cinema, square and shops from the west end of Kendray Street. Now that the cinema has started to reach it’s final high you can see just how enclosed the square will be.

‘Henry Boot Construction’ information board as displayed on Kendray Street.

New Year, New Steel: A Glassworks Update

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A post Christmas update on the Glassworks development in Barnsley. A fair bit has happened since my last update in November; the mild winter weather and weekend working has allowed the installation of the steelwork to continue apace.

The now customary long shot of the south-west entrance taken from the Cheapside Hill. From this location the most visible change has been the installation of the purple insulation on the building by the entrance. Behind, we can see the increasing bulk of the car park (right) and the upper levels of the cinema (centre and left). Cheapside itself remains somewhat tired looking.

A closeup of the Cheapside steelworks. With a Q1 2021 target for opening it won’t be long before they start to install the external cladding. It’s also worth noting that the framing for the roof of the covered arcade appears to be just awaiting its glass.

The bowling alley and restaurants from the north side of Kendray Street. The steelwork continues to creep towards the Eldon Street end of the site. The bowling alley is to be run by Superbowl UK.

The bowling alley site frame from the corner of Kendray Street and Midland Street.

The bowling alley site from Midland Street. On completion of the project, Midland Street will be closed to traffic south of where the grey breeze block utility shed is located. A smaller plaza – bound on the north by Midland Street/Barnsley Interchange, the east by a new pedestrian footbridge over the railway, the south by the cinema and the west by the bowling alley – will cover the former road.

Saturday working on the bowling alley steel.

The site of the future public square is now level with the surrounding area. Behind and to the right you can see both newly installed windows and the continued installation of insulation on the west side of the new arcade. To the left, the east flank of the shopping centre/cinema continues to crawl north. In the rear centre, the structural steel for the roof of the arcade has been installed, linking both side of the arcade. At the back looms the structure of the carpark.

A slightly closer shot. The structure for the arcade roof is clearer here.

Steelwork being craned into place. You start to get a feel for just how parts of the site will loom over those at ground level.

Saturday working on the cinema end of the main site. Plans indicate there is still quite a lot of structure left to install here.

A panorama of the site.

From left to right:

Cinema/restaurants/shops structure
(Back) Shops structure
(Middle) Location of new public square
(Front) Future location of the west end of the new footbridge over the railway
Completed library
Kendray Street
Bowling alley and additional restaurants
Existing transport hub

Coffee Boy, a new occupant of phase one situated on the corner of May Day Green and Cheapside. It appears to be a minor coffee franchise with a Starbucks feel. I cannot vouch for the quality of the coffee.

Glass Works, Barnsley (November 2019)

A distinctly grey and autumnal update on the Barnsley Glass Works project and there has been quite a lot of progress on the site in the six weeks since I last blogged about it. I’ve also managed to dig up a copy of the plans (below) from the latest amendments to planning application.

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Continued groundworks at the West Kendray Street entrance to the Bowling Ally site. In the background you can see two stories of steelwork above the new substation.

Bowling Ally steelwork (taken from the Kendray Street/Midland Street junction). The breeze block structure is the new substation constructed over the summer.

The body of the project as seen from the West end of Kendray Street. The mass of steelwork for the cinema (left) and new car park (rear) has increased substantially.

The new shops on the South side of the public square have started to receive their insulation. Behind the steel of the new car park looms.

Insulation installed on the shops that will be under the covered arcade.

In the foreground you can see additional steel beams for either the cinema, the pedestrian concourse or the arcade roof. To the rear is the row of shops that backs onto phase one’s market building.

What will become the cinema. The large gap between the current steel work and the white van will also become part of the cinema’s footprint.

Work vehicles on the east of the public square. Approximately where the red stop sign is will be where the town side of the new railway footbridge will end.

Steelwork as seen from Cheapside. In the immediate foreground Very little has changed however the frame for the carpark now looms in the background.

The project as seen from the railway footbridge.

A shot from part up Cheapside hill. The frames of both the carpark and the shops backing onto the railway can quite clearly now be seen.

A street level perspective on the new car park.

However, from the Cheapside/Queen Street/May Day Green junction the new construction is not yet visible.

Work seems to be progressing at quite a rate and – allowing for the trials of winter construction – it’s likely that by next summer the majority of the project will be heading towards completion. Then – inevitably – Barnsley’s centre of gravity will shift towards the new shopping arcade and away from the Alhambra Centre.

The question then becomes ‘What happens to the tatty, tired Alhambra Centre?’. It’s unlikely that a town with Barnsley’s size and economy can support two shopping precincts (especially next door to each other!) and so the older one is likely to fade away. Could it be knocked down and replaced? The Alhambra Centre plot is well situated for bus, road, and rail access and so the site could make a good location for future office space – and so bring important white collar employment to the town that a place like Barnsley has traditionally lacked.

But bringing a new employer like that into a region is tricky work and the competition from other local authorities would be tremendously fierce…