NEW Look is the latest high street fashion brand to pledge its future to the town centre’s multi-million pound generation as it moves just 150 metres down the road leaving its Cheapside unit vacant.

The fashion retailer has been open on Cheapside for a number of years but bosses will open the new store in the Glass Works, situated next to Game and Next, on July 21.

The £210m venture by the council, of which they borrowed almost £140m, is now 80 per cent let following the recent arrivals of brands such as 200 Degrees Coffee and River Island.

A Freedom of Information request shows £139.3m was borrowed for the £210m venture which has attracted big-name favourites including TK Maxx, Nando’s, TGI Fridays, The Botanist, Cineworld and Superbowl UK to the new-look leisure hub.

Additional cost pressures have seen the overall capital cost of the regeneration increase to £210.6m double its original estimation when first revealed in 2017.

Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, has shown his pleasure at New Look’s announcement to join the flurry of businesses.

“The Glass Works is proving a resounding retail success and New Look’s move locks the brand into Barnsley town centre for the foreseeable future,” he said.

“Whether you’re shopping, eating, drinking, or enjoying a family day out, there are many fantastic reasons to visit Barnsley.”

The retailer’s current unit on Cheapside will close on July 20, leaving the site empty as it becomes another casualty in the town centre of a business moving its premises into the Glass Works.

However the Chronicle understands that health and beauty shop Superdrug, who are situated next to New Look on Cheapside, will remain there.

“We are very aware that there is more work to do across the wider town centre which is why we continuously monitor our occupancy levels,” Coun Houghton added.

“The Seam the new development on County Way will also be a real asset to the town centre’s economy attracting people and new businesses from which the wider town centre will benefit.”

Alex Hyams, senior leasing manager at Queensberry, said the town is proving to be a success story considering some of the challenges they have faced, and added: “The pandemic and changing nature of the high street has thrown up many difficulties but Barnsley has managed to proactively tackle these to achieve fundamental improvements to their town centre.

“The Glass Works is now more than 80 per cent let.

“Considering the headwinds we’ve faced it’s very impressive and we have more news to come.

“Barnsley is proving to be a real success story.”

Peter Rodgers, head of retails for New Look’s central division, added: “We are excited to announce our brand new store in the Glass Work,s opening on July 21, where we will continue to provide our New Look customers in Barnsley with a great fashion focussed shopping experience.

“Our existing Cheapside store will close on July 20 and we look forwarding to welcoming our existing and new visitors to our new store.”