ESSENTIAL work that will allow construction on Barnsley town centre’s regeneration scheme to progress to into its final phases have been revealed - and shoppers have been told to expect some restrictions from September.

The next raft of work includes the diversion of the sewer system currently underneath the Cineworld construction site, cable works by Northern Powergrid, construction of the new Market Gate Bridge and improvements to the public realm on Midland Street.

While Barnsley Council is working to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum, areas of public realm on Midland Street and Kendray Street - outside the transport interchange - will be fenced off for the duration of the work to ensure public safety.

The pedestrian route between the interchange and the temporary footbridge on Midland Street will remain, but some routes may need to be occasionally altered to ensure the work is carried out safely and efficiently.

Northern Powergrid is currently completing work on Midland Street, Eldon Street, Eldon Street North and Schwabisch Gmund Way to divert underground electrical cables as part of infrastructure improvement work.

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A council spokesperson said: “From September, sewage diversion work will begin, which will last around 40 weeks. Up until now, a temporary agreement with Yorkshire Water has allowed the Cineworld complex to be built over the current sewer system.

“However, with the Cineworld structure now nearing completion, the next stage will be to reposition the sewer system around its perimeter.

“To carry out this work effectively, the appointed contractor will need to access the site from Midland Street. Because of this, the Barnsley mining column has been removed from outside the interchange as a temporary measure to avoid damage.

“The artwork is currently in secure storage at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and will be reinstated close to its original position towards the end of the overall project next year.”

Next spring, once the sewer diversion works are completed, construction will begin on the new Market Gate Bridge while public realm improvements will take place on Midland Street.

“This work forms the essential next steps in the progress of the Glass Works scheme, which is transforming the heart of Barnsley town centre,” the spokesperson added.

“Alongside the already completed Barnsley Markets, Market Kitchen and Library @ the Lightbox, the scheme will deliver a 13-screen Cineworld, a family-friendly Superbowl UK leisure complex and a variety of shops and restaurants including Nando’s, Next and TK Maxx.”

Despite work slowing down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the scheme is still set to be completed by late 2021 - only a few months later than originally scheduled.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for place, added: “We’re committed to the Glass Works now more than ever - there’s no denying that the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on the UK high street and that’s no different in Barnsley.

“However, as the town centre continues to reopen - with our great selection of bars and restaurants next in line to open their doors - we hope we’ll pick back up on our pre-pandemic momentum.

“The ongoing success of our town centre will be key as our economic recovery progresses. The Glass Works will play an important part in our jobs-led recovery, with the project estimated to deliver 1,100 jobs by 2025.

“I’d like to encourage the people of Barnsley to shop in the town centre and support our local economy. It’s important now more than ever to spend your money locally and keep Barnsley moving as we come through this pandemic.”