New Year, New Steel: A Glassworks Update

Right click on the plan image and open in a new window to see a larger version.

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.

Right click on the plan image and open in a new window to see a larger version.

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…

More of the Glass Works, Barnsley

Some more shots from the Glass Works redevelopment in the centre of Barnsley. There seems to have been quite a lot of progress since I last posted about this project at the end of August.

A shot of the steelworks on Cheapside taken from further up the hill. Since the last set of images they have finished constructed what will be the second floor celling. Behind you can see the structural work for what will be the cinema.

A closeup of the Cheapside steelworks.

Groundworks for bowling ally and restaurants on the north side Kendray Street. The small grey building in the centre is a new electricity substation.

The same area taken from Midland Street.

A shot of the main part of the project. This was taken on the corner of Kendray Street and May Day Green. The steelworks to the right will become the shops that back onto the existing market. The steelworks in the centre comprise of elements of the new cinema and the shops and restaurants on the east side of the project. The near centre – where the dumper truck is parked – will become a public square.

Equipment and supplies compound with cinema structure behind. Beyond you can see the steelworks for the shops that back onto the existing market structure.

Panorama of the entire site taken from the temporary pedestrian bridge over the railway line.

From left to right:

Cinema and restaurants structure
(Back) Shops structure
(Fore) Location of new public square
Completed library
Kendray Street
Bowling alley and additional restaurants
Existing transport hub

Yorkshire Wildlife Park Expansion – Late August 2019

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So I went back to Yorkshire Wildlife Park at the end of August to find that they’ve started work on their recently approved expansion.

The expansion comprises the lower right section of the map. Unfortunately, the map images on the YWP website are in quite a low resolution and are difficult to gain any sense of detail on. I’ve looked on the Doncaster planning portal and, while I think everything is there, I’ve not yet been able to beat it’s unwieldy interface into submission and find HD versions of the approved plans.

First, a pair of shots taken from the leopard enclosure viewing platform showing the new connecting bridge in context with the existing park. The enclosure to the left of these images is the tiger enclosure.

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The Unicorn and the Penguin – Images from a trip to Edinburgh Zoo

More pictures uploaded, this time a gallery from a February 2019 trip to Edinburgh Zoo.

The Zoo itself feels very much like an organisation in flux. Some of the enclosures – the pandas, the tigers and the chimpanzee – felt very new and very modern while some of the others – I’m thinking of the lion enclosure in particular – felt very ‘old-school’ and old fashioned. Indeed, the lion enclosure – effectively a large metal cage that you walk up to and is very reminiscent of the what you might have expected 40 or 50 years ago – is worth contrasting with both Edinburgh’s own tiger enclosure – bright and open, with landscaping and an interesting walk-though section for the public – and Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s lion enclosure – large, interestingly designed with subtle and complimentary landscaping.

On the other hand, the large amount of building work we observed suggests that they know parts of the zoo need improvements and so we can hope that they get around to the lions sooner rather than later.

The day itself was cold, grey and dark but ultimately dry. At times fingers were cold and my camera struggled with the light and I think both of those are reflected in these images. Eventually I would like to make a summer trip back – as I think the summer sun zoo would show it’s best side – but even the crowds we encountered in February make the thought of summer holiday traffic seem daunting.

Lions and tigers and (polar) bears… oh my!

Another gallery added — this time two dozen or so shots from a trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park in June 2019. I actually have two more sets from YWP that I need to process but time really does seem to have go away from me recently.

I also have another blog post to write, one similar to my Barnsley Glass Works post from last week, that covers some of the work done for YWP’s expansion.

Addendum: Though it’s well hidden, YWP’s news page actually has a populated, subscribable RSS feed. The whole site looks to be a fairly standard WordPress implementation and, though they’ve hidden the feed with the site’s theme, these feeds can be picked out of the HTML quite easily.