The grand opening of the new Library @ the Lightbox was marked by a day of family entertainment on Saturday 13 July.
The new four-storey building lies at the heart of The Glass Works and is a welcoming hub for the local community. The opening was marked with a programme of family activities, alongside an official ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor of Barnsley, Cllr Pauline Markham, Leader of Barnsley Council Sir Stephen Houghton, Chief Executive Sarah Norman and Dan Jarvis MP. Locals were able to explore the state-of-the-art community hub for the first time, while enjoying special performances from musicians and actors alongside a range of other activities.
The Library @ the Lightbox forms the cornerstone of the wider town centre redevelopment, which has already seen the celebrated transformation of our famous Barnsley Markets. Future plans also include a Cineworld, Superbowl UK, 26 new shops, seven family-friendly restaurants and high-quality public realm improvements.
With its striking modern design and transparent glass exterior, the library illuminates the new town square. Each of the four floors provide a range of digital services including cutting-edge virtual reality, a training suite, tablet computers and other innovative technology. The building’s low energy design makes it economical and sustainable, and the top floor provides opportunities for functions and events.
A range of facilities will encourage community groups to make use of the building’s space for large events, workshops and activities. The fully accessible, modern building will suit all needs and includes a sanctuary room for people with autism. The Lightbox will also host a Music and Memories Group supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, designed for people living with dementia and their carers.
It has been a real privilege for us to deliver the Library @ the Lightbox. Schemes of this quality are only possible when there is full collaboration between all parties, and I wish to pay testament to Barnsley Council, the designers and my team for their achievement in delivering such a wonderful facility for the people of Barnsley.
Simon Carr, Managing Director, Henry Boot Construction
We can’t wait to welcome everyone to explore this sophisticated community hub and dynamic social space to meet and learn in. This modern and adaptable facility is filled with natural light from its glass exterior and white bookcases create a calm yet inspiring atmosphere. A big thank you to Henry Boot Construction, Queensberry, Turner and Townsend and everyone involved in the development of the Library @ The Lightbox. It’s a fantastic building and Barnsley should be proud of it. I want to give special thanks to the people of Barnsley for their cooperation and patience while we’ve carried out this work. We can’t wait for you all to see it.
Cllr Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Adults and Communities, Barnsley Council