Plans have been unveiled for a £17 million sixth form college to be built in the heart of the town centre.
The proposals from Barnsley College will lead to the campus being built on the site of the Central Library and there will be an adjoining parade of shops and offices.
It is a 1.56 acre site bounded by Shambles Street, St Mary’s Gate, Westgate and John Rideal House.
The development is due for completion by the summer of 2015 and is intended to provide an ‘inspirational learning environment’ for high achievers, which will see them moving on to university and higher level apprenticeships.
A report to the town council says the college will create jobs and support development of higher level skills and an aspirational culture among young people.
College managers estimate it will increase the number of A-Level students in the town centre from 850 to 1,150.
Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said: “The proposal indicates the sixth form college would have the potential to bring £7.7 million into the local economy.
“Following on from the recently-completed town hall square modernisation, it will create an inspirational and vibrant building at a key location, that will dramatically improve this gateway into the town centre.”
The library and a Citizens’ Advice Bureau office will relocate to vacant offices at Wellington House in Wellington Street, which will undergo an extensive refit.
The proposed library relocation will also be subject to detailed consultation with library users.
Principal Colin Booth said Barnsley College had secured £5.3 million of funding from the Skills Funding Agency, with the remainder of the cash raised through asset disposal and borrowing.
He said: “It is good news that a new college will be built in the centre of Barnsley.”