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Shops hope library demolition will be worth it

By gail robinson, Town Reporter Sunday 15th December 2013

Businesses opposite the central library say they will be sad to see it go but hope its demolition will give the promised boost to the economy of Shambles Street.


Barnsley Council says the library will be replaced temporarily at Wellington House, and will eventually have a new home when the town centre is redeveloped in the coming years.

Plans of what the temporary library will look like have been published on the council website this week. Consultation on the plans is underway but more than 12,000 people have already signed a petition calling for the library to stay where it is.

Robert Eaton, of the Russell Eaton salon, said Barnsley is in urgent need of redevelopment and believes the short-term disruption will be worth it for the long term benefit of the town.

"I see why people who use the library are so opposed to it. It is well used and I can see their point. But if you look at Leeds and the affect of the development that's gone on there, it has had a huge impact.

"Barnsley is in need of regeneration probably more than anywhere else."

Stan Bulmer, of Stan Plus Stan photography, says the demolition of the abandoned shop units opposite his studio 'can't come soon enough'.

"About 60 per cent of our customers come from outside Barnsley. We are bringing people into the town and this street is the main entrance. Those shops have been a bit of an eyesore."


Laura Beaumont, of Nutopia Hair and Beauty, said: "It is sad the library has to go, but hopefully it will attract a bit more interest in this end of the town."

But Andrew Bostwick, of insurance broker Bostwick and Sayers, would rather see the area redeveloped for retail rather than a college.

"From a business point of view I don't think a sixth-form college will do anything to 'bring us into the town centre'. I'd rather have seen it developed for retail.

"I'd rather the library stay. We do get customers coming in to us who've been to the library."

A council spokesman said the proposed college building would match the quality of environment and resources of the new secondary schools across Barnsley.

The spokesman said the college and the long-term plans for an all-new library would enhance the town centre, but timing is critical.

"If the college doesn't move quickly on the Shambles Street site then the town centre is likely to lose out on millions of pounds of investment.

"All comments gathered will help the council to further understand what people have to say about the implications the move will have on them."
The plans can be viewed on the council's website, visit

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by paul gregory I Sun 15th Dec 2013 at 11:21am

i haven't been on shambles st for donkey's years cos theres nothing really to go up there for, and i can't see how a new college is going to bring new investment to town bit pointless really. would i go onto shambles st after this new college is built? no as before theres nothing to go up there for, and i bet a few others think the same. if you're wanting to attract money to the town a new college is the wrong way to go.

Posted by Jonno I Sun 15th Dec 2013 at 11:56am

I'd say go for it and redevelop the site. It certainly needs it and the abandoned shops further up shambles street need to go too. My main concern is we dont get cheap buildings in its place. The bus station looked great when new but im sure the concrete sprayed walls will age quickly. Especially when every time to let signs go up the walls are drilled.

Posted by albert I Sun 15th Dec 2013 at 4:44pm

more back handing at bmbc

Posted by Steve I Mon 16th Dec 2013 at 8:50am

Ssshhh, its a library.

Posted by library? I Tue 17th Dec 2013 at 1:38pm

You try finding the plans for the temporary library on the council's website! Typical council, hiding things!

Posted by Wendy I Fri 20th Dec 2013 at 11:36am

Who on earth will come to Barnsley to learn anything? The powers that be destroy everything of worth. Leave the library alone! It's a community - refurbish what's there.

Posted by stu I Thu 26th Dec 2013 at 3:42pm

Nowt wrong wi t'library,unlike some ut councillors.New college will make enormous difference to street's prospects(not)....summat odd wi this unpopular decision.

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