First shops open at new £200m retail complex The Glass Works in Barnsley town centre

The Glass Works will be opened in phases over the next six months, and more stores are set to open in the autumn.

Barnsley’s new £200m retail and leisure complex has reached its first major milestone today as people gathered to celebrate the unveiling of a public square and some of the development's biggest stores.

The Glass Works will be opened in phases over the next six months, but civic leaders and shoppers gathered this morning (9 September) to catch their first glimpse of the town centre space, which is now home to retail giants TK Maxx, Next and Sports Direct.

Local leaders and shoppers gathered to celebrate the opening of The Glass Works Square this morning.

More stores are due to open to shoppers in the autumn, and a Cineworld is scheduled to open early next year.

New figures from Centre for Cities suggest Barnsley town centre's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is amongst the strongest in the country, with an 18 percent increase in footfall between July and August.

A programme of live music and entertainment is being rolled out across the public square today and on Saturday (11 September) to welcome visitors to the complex - including an aerial acrobatics show, stilt walker displays and storytelling. This weekend's family activities are set to start at 10:30am and finish at 2:30pm.

The council says The Glass Works Square is designed to increase accessibility by providing direct access to and from the transport interchange - and following the phased opening of the complex, it's expected that 90% of the development will be let.