AMBITIOUS plans to turn Barnsley town centre’s landmark digital business district into a sustainable ‘urban village’ - featuring housing and a multi-storey car park - will take a step closer in June, according to a council document.
‘The Seam’ digital campus in the town centre - home to two Digital Media Centres and Barnsley College’s SciTech building - is already established as a place where people set-up and grow innovative tech businesses, explore new ideas, study and collaborate.
Plans for the County Way site propose to add a range of ‘accessible, inclusive and inspiring community facilities for the benefit of all’.
Ruling cabinet members are set to discuss a construction contract for the first phase of the plan at a meeting on June 14, the Chronicle can reveal.
A survey on plans for The Seam received more than 500 responses.
A report said: “The public space also includes new pedestrian routes across the site to the multi-storey car park, located off Old Mill Lane.
“There will be a main promenade walkway running from the campus’ entrance - at the junction of Eldon Street and Regent Street - to the new car park.
“The route will include steps and an accessible ramp built into the landscape, up onto the upper deck of The Seam, while the car park will also be accessible off County Way.
“A key access point for the new site will be the development of a new active travel hub which has been enabled by government funding.
“The new hub, across from the current venue at Barnsley Interchange, will be designed to increase and support residents to access the town centre and wider borough by bike or on foot, reducing the amount of car use for short journeys in line with our 2045 ambitions for net zero carbon across the borough.
“The campus offers an important opportunity to demonstrate how an ambitious zero carbon approach to development can be realised while responding to the wider sustainability and active travel objectives.
“We have been undertaking car park occupancy surveys both pre-Covid and since September 2021 in order to improve the management of car parking across the town centre and minimise disruption.
“Visitors will be redirected to over 1,000 vacant spaces across the town centre, with soon-to-be installed live digital roadside information boards directing drivers to empty spaces, reducing journey times and emissions.
“In light of The Seam’s sustainable aspirations and the council’s zero carbon targets, the new car park will have 40 electric vehicle charging points from the offset, with capacity to increase provision in line with demand.”Lea