OFFICIAL plans have been submitted to the council to create a permanent home for the world-renowned Barnsley Youth Choir - with the scheme set to pick up pace in the coming months.

Barnsley Council was successful in its bid to receive more than £10m in levelling up funding in January 2023 - paving the way for a host of town centre projects to pick up pace.

Cash will be used to fund an activity park next to the town’s forthcoming youth zone off Schwabisch Gmund Way, a wellbeing hub based at YMCA on Blucher Street and the creation of the Northern Academy for Vocal Excellence (NAVE), which will become a permanent home for Barnsley Youth Choir.

The NAVE will bring the council’s former Computer Centre on the corner of St Mary’s Place and Westgate - which was built in 1879 and was previously the town’s courthouse until 1970 when Barnsley Magistrates’ Court opened - back into use.

It will also engage with other organisations to provide a hub for singing regionally and nationally, hopefully building an international reputation from the town centre base.

Official plans were submitted to Barnsley Council’s planning board this month - more than a year after the scheme was initially mooted.

The application includes refurbishing the site and the erection of a detached storage building at Westgate House to form the new home for the youth choir.

A report states: “The Barnsley Youth Choir is a choir of exceptional quality and of international standing and reputation.

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“The NAVE is a project of the BYC intended to be the choir’s new home and to become a regional and national centre of excellence, supporting the very highest levels of singing and delivering outstanding tuition to young people.

“In doing so it plays an important community role.

“The NAVE project will serve to significantly enhance the facilities of the choir and therefore enhance the extremely valuable role that it plays in the community and the lives of many young people in Barnsley, the wider South Yorkshire region and beyond.”

The report also states that the work will include the formation of a new access, the creation of a number of new ‘rehearsal spaces’ - as well as a ‘large main space to world-class choral standard with sprung floor’.

It’s believed the scheme will bring ‘economic benefits’ to the town.

“The proposals represent redevelopment that will, principally, make a significant contribution towards achieving greater social sustainability in the Barnsley, in addition to meaningful economic and environmental sustainability contributions,” the report added.

“There is also less tangible but equally valuable economic benefit arising from the financial investment represented by the proposals which will support local jobs during the course of construction, and which is indeed already supporting small businesses in the wider South Yorkshire area.”

Public consultation ends on February 16.