BIG-NAME retailer JD Sports will open its doors tomorrow to become the first retailer outside the market to open at the multi-million pound Glass Works shopping complex.

Britain’s biggest sports fashion retailer will occupy a 4,023sq ft unit on a ten-year lease and will offer lines from brands exclusive to its nationwide stores.

It’s the latest positive move for the council-funded regeneration after Barnsley Market opened last year and was followed by Library @ the Lightbox and Falco Lounge opening earlier this summer.

Market Kitchen, an independent food court, will open its doors later this month, but JD Sports’ arrival is a particular milestone in the town centre’s redevelopment, according to council leader Sir Steve Houghton. “This is an exciting development,” he said.

“The redevelopment of the town centre is really progressing and we’re already starting to see positive results.

“It’s not only what we’re doing as a council with The Glass Works that is transforming our town. We’ve seen a raft of new independent businesses open across the town helping us to diversify our offer.

“Barnsley is becoming a hotbed for investment and that’s been proven with the amount of new businesses we’ve seen open their doors.”

Another big name, Sports Direct – including its streetwear and fashion arm USC – has also signed up to The Glass Works alongside Coffee Boy, a modern coffee shop selling specialist food and rink.

Sports Direct – which will move from its current location on Cheapside into the bigger store – is set to open in 2021 as The Glass Works nears its overall completion while Coffee Boy will open on Cheapside before Christmas.

Sir Steve added: “Looking at Sports Direct it’s important to recognise this is not simply a store moving from one premises to another – it’s a much bigger offer.

“They’re bringing with them their USC clothing brand, which will be a real draw to shoppers. It will stock some of the big, well-known brands. It’s a doubling of their retail offer.”

Cabinet spokesman Coun Tim Cheetham added: “It’s an exciting time in our town centre as we head towards the busy Christmas shopping period.

“Sports Direct is already a popular store in the town so it’s fantastic it will be moving into a bigger space over two floors, bringing the popular USC with it.

“Coffee Boy and JD Sports will add another great dimension to what we’re trying to achieve with the redevelopment of our town centre and will be welcome additions to Barnsley.”