A NEW library could be built in the heart of the town centre by the end of 2015.

Barnsley Council are due to make an announcement on it and the town's long-stalled regeneration in January.

The redevelopment is expected to be given the green light, although it's not yet known what form it will take.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said they have four potential sites in mind for a new library, but no decision will be made until the outcome of a consultation process on the existing one.

An outline of the whole town centre scheme and timescales will be made by next summer, he added.

Work on a new library would still mean the service moving temporarily into Wellington House, but that is only expected to be for a short period while any new building is completed.

Steve said it was important to await the outcome of the consultation but was optimistic Barnsley would soon have a new building better suited to the 21st century.

"We need to give consideration to what people have to say about the implications of moving the library," he added.

"Depending on the outcome of the consultation, the move to Wellington Street would be temporary, and there would be a state of the art new town centre library building built.

"This is an exciting time for Barnsley. We can create 21st century facilities to ensure our young people are best placed for future prosperity and employment.

"It's important to invest and to continue to believe in the success of our town and of our young people.

"We need local people to believe in this development, to believe in our town's ability to create, succeed and attract investment."

There has been an outcry over plans to demolish the current building to make way for a new sixth form for Barnsley College.

But Cllr Houghton said the town urgently needs a new sixth form college building that will match the quality young people now experience in the new schools.

He said if progress isn't made quickly for the new sixth form college, the town centre is likely to lose out on millions of pounds of investment.

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