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WHSmith set to close

Wednesday October 19 2016


The Metropolitan Centre will be redeveloped as part of the Better Barnsley project The Metropolitan Centre will be redeveloped as part of the Better Barnsley project


THE TOWN centre's WHSmith store will close in January - and a dozen other businesses are set to relocate. 

Retailers on Cheapside and May Day Green have been told they have to move out of the Metropolitan Centre by January 31, so the council can press ahead with a £15m refurbishment of the building as part of the Better Barnsley project.

However, a source at WH Smith told the Barnsley Chronicle that it has ‘nowhere to go’ once it shuts in the new year.

Other businesses affected include Amore cafe, Game, The Works, Carphone Warehouse, Poundland, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Barnsley Shopmobility, Max Spielmann photos, a ‘pop-up’ knitwear shop, an electronics retailer and a newsagent.

Some retailers on the Cheapside/May Day Green side of the Metropolitan Centre have not yet secured alternative premises. However, it is understood some are in negotiations for units in the Alhambra centre, on Market Street and other parts of the town centre.

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Reply Posted by Dave1 on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 10:28
Shoved or pushed ???

Reply Posted by Anna on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 11:45
What is happening to the cafes and units on both levels of the market? Have they got to close down?

Reply Posted by Ann L on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 18:23
The are all moving into a new refurbished market, where the old semi covered was. Full refurb and fit. All the cafes and all the stalls both on the ground floor and the first floor will all be in there new home from March 2017. This is a temp place for roughly 12-14 months.

Reply Posted by Mr Reality Check on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 11:49
It's a sorry state of affairs and shows the issues of allowing private businesses to own and operate the heart of the town.

If the LA had a genuine interest in the center they would compulsory purchase the properties, allowing business to benefit from the rate/rent assurances and stability.

Also the departure of WH Smiths is another nail in the coffin for intellect in the town.

Reply Posted by turbo on Monday October 31 2016 at 23:45
So .. that's where all the intellectuals hung out is it .. i always wondered ..

Mr Reality check = Mr Thick as two short planks.

Reply Posted by Tony on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 15:53
With all the empty shops and other buildings in Barnsley town centre it shouldn't be too difficult to re locate even if only temporarily,should it ?.

Reply Posted by Mags on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 17:13
why cant u leave library where it is and not put a bookies in yorkshire bank use it as a store also the shops B M B C re occupying near civic could be shops the council departments used to be all in one building to me the council is wasting money and no thought for these shops who have been trading in the town years paying rents ect time you thought of these instead of charity shops bookies travel shops take aways and more it disgusting we have no decent shops now

Reply Posted by Doris on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 17:19
BMBC should hang their heads in shame, how can they allow a buisness that has traded in Barnsley for over 100years to just go? Even the smallest place has a WH Smiths, The council are " supposed " to be making the town better! They are slowly turning in to a ghost town. I remember the day when people came by coach from far and wide to visit our once great town. Not any more they don't, who can blame them for staying away? E cig shops, charity shops, betting shops, is that all the good people of this town deserve?

Reply Posted by Janet on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 17:30
I agree totally Doris but doubt the council will take note

Reply Posted by Darfield Tyke on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 17:24
Barnsley is fast becoming a cultural desert, if M&S go there is nothing left, Bookies, Pound shops, Charity shops, The Labour council needs to do Something before its too late or don't they care?. Why would anyone come to Barnsley to shop? Come friendly bombs and fall on Barnsley its not cared about anymore.

Reply Posted by Shirley on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 17:51
Better Barnsley,by the time there done there will be no Barnsley,they are ruining what bit we have left

Reply Posted by Victoria on Friday October 21 2016 at 17:55
Exactly, budgets are being squeezed, yet they are going to build a multi-million pound new library (in my opinion just to 'save face'), there is actually nothing wrong with the 'interim one'! Barnsley council are certainly putting money before impressions as indicated by the fact they have allowed a bookies in the bus station, I mean thinking about it would that not have been an ideal place to have Smiths? Yes it would have been smaller but at least we would have still had one

Reply Posted by Doris on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 18:12
Janet, Shirley and Darefield Tyke. Never a truer word have you spoken. BMBC do not care about Barnsley people. The last thing they think about are us, the good people of this once great town. I'm 75, so not got that many years left to watch the town disappear to nothing. Who cares, certainly not the powers that be.

Reply Posted by Steven James on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 20:16
They are only interested in keeping their snouts in the trough for as long as possible and unless people STOP voting for these parasites then the gravy train will always rumble on for them.

Reply Posted by Sheena on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 19:34
Definately pushed !!

Reply Posted by anon on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 20:15
you know what the sad part of all this is it is that the town are ruled by a LABOUR council supposed to be for the working man but they do not care about the working man or the town or any small trader or business in town they would rather see them close rather than help them. And whats even worse is that the people of Barnsley will keep voting them back in because they always do on the next round of voting show them and vote them out and let the independents rule the council they cant waste any more money than Labour do all the promises they say to get voted in and do nothing .
Thats my rant done

Reply Posted by Anon on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 20:31
Disgusting!! For the love of god stop voting LABOUR. Anyone's got to be better than this set of monkey's

Reply Posted by turbo on Tuesday November 1 2016 at 00:24
Why do you change your name to anon when it's obvious to anybody it's "Steven James" karate expert ? your continual use of capitols always gives the game away cos your thick.

Reply Posted by Anon on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 20:40
Here's an idea, stop the need for the 'bad' shops and do something about it. Stop using poundshops, bookies and cash converters. Be proud of your town and sort out the scabs that hang about town. Stop moaning and do something about it.

Reply Posted by yorkshire lady on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 20:43
Still the senior lady sells her lovely eggs outside what used to be Fosters Bread shop. Still has no stall. This is what you get for 55 years as a small business, serving this town and Market. Shame on the powers that be!!!

Reply Posted by Matt on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 22:55
Surely it is apparent that these closures are to allow major redvelopment?! If the council did nothing and let the fabric of the town centre decline people would be whinging and moaning. Instead the council are taking bold steps to reinvigorate the town... and people are whinging and moaning.

Doris: There are towns much bigger than Barnsley with no WHSmith. Try googling "WHSmith closing down" and you will see they're closing all over the place when they get to the end of their lease. I hope they relocate or reappear when the new shops are built. They closed in Wakefield when they were thrown out of the Ridings to allow Primark to expand, but have reopened in Trinity Walk with a much smaller store, so fingers crossed they'll do something similar here.

Mags: the Yorkshire BS building is privately owned, what do you suggest BMBC do? It's hardly disgusting that the redevelopment of the town is finally happening.

If nothing happened we WOULD have a town of bookies, poundshops and charity shops. Instead we'll be getting a town with modern high quality retail space to attract major names. This is something we need: let's be POSITIVE!

Reply Posted by Victoria on Friday October 21 2016 at 18:00
Either, you arever not a long term resident of Barnsley or suffer from disillusionment, the number of projects Barnsley has wasted money on is vast, the highlights are

The archives
Ltitle Italy
and putting a one way system through St Mary's Church Yard, to have a new pedestrian area.

All 'pie in the sky', ideas that are typical of Barnsley and wasted tax payers money

Reply Posted by Vlc on Friday October 21 2016 at 18:01
The archives should have been 'the arc'

Reply Posted by Steven James on Saturday October 22 2016 at 08:17
WHAT major names Matt?

The Labour CLOWNS have not managed to get ONE prestigious "major" name to sign up for the new development!

Reply Posted by Ex Barnsley on Saturday October 22 2016 at 13:02
I don't live in Barnsley now but visit often.
What is the one way system through St Mary's churchyard? I used to go to that church as a child. What sort of one way system is this? A pedestrian area around this lovely church sounds nice, it could be a peaceful little spot.

Reply Posted by turbo on Monday October 24 2016 at 19:21
Very well put Matt .. I think that you're one of the few people that post on WAB that has any common sense. I think that the demented rants from @ Steven James are quite embarrassing, he should seek professional help, along with his friend ( unless it's the same person ) Gavelar .. the pair of them have got a real chip on their shoulders Re BMBC . The latest one from the latter is one of his classics. see below... he's still making stuff up to try and legitimise his unfounded diatribe. He'll reply to this post with his usual twaddle .. blah blah blah ..

Reply Posted by Marie Jones on Tuesday October 25 2016 at 10:35
Indeed they are closing other stores, The fantastic one in Retail Park Rotherham was closed, so has the one in town there. The Wakefield one was rather dismal but has improved now that the Post Office has merged with them in the same building.

Reply Posted by mike on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 22:57
All this for students as that's why the original library shut down to spend more millions on people who skive and hardly go. Most students are decent but we don't need to spend millions on moving the library for them and the thing with the shops to me the council should be made to get them proper premises till the building is finished and adequate compensation for the cost of moving. The council would want it if you were to do something the same to them.

Reply Posted by daz on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 23:21
Barnsley council what a JOKE.Get this Labour council O U T

Reply Posted by Observer on Wednesday October 19 2016 at 23:29
Ha haaa. Looks like we have the tory larty in trying to oust labour..the tories knacked up this country full stop. They put very little into towns which arent tory ruled. Its very simple, however i do think that our party should listen to the people of the town. You that are moaning, what do you want. Cmon..stipulate, what do you want ??? The council arent going to turn away rate paying tax paying businesses. Tell the council what you would like. Lots of leople jump on a train to leeds and sheffield. Tell your council to match them..

Reply Posted by Frank Anguige on Thursday October 20 2016 at 00:30
When I first came to Barnsley in 1989 it was buzzing, the market and the whole town centre. Slowly but surely the town has gone down hill. Charity shops and bookies. All but one or two of the high St named shops have disappeared. Now WH Smiths is the next to go. All the new people coming into Barnsley won't care but for people who shop at WH Smiths regular it's just another nail in the town's coffin. It's disgraceful.

Reply Posted by John P on Thursday October 20 2016 at 09:54
W.H.Smith or not,the town centre is in rapid decline,so let's give BMBC credit for at last recognising the fact and attempting to do something about it. I do think they have been slow in bringing it together and have missed out on not using the Civic Hall as promised many years back.
However we are were we are,if the centre redevelopment is not completed as promised then they will deserve all criticism they will most surely get.

Reply Posted by Siddel on Thursday October 20 2016 at 10:20
Surely the council should have had plans for all the regeneration of the town put in place years ago, All the meetings with planning and business. SO WHY ARE THE COUNCIL WASTING SO MUCH MONEY ON EVERYTHING BEEN ONLY TEMPORARY, only to be knocked down and everybody relocate ONCE AGAIN. sack the lot of them , wasting all the tax payers money.

Reply Posted by Val on Thursday October 20 2016 at 22:00
When you come into Barnsley there are few shops to go to. Too many charity shops,chip shops and betting shops. Some could relocate to Doncaster Road. It could be a jewel in the crown for Barnsley with many interesting shops. It already has a first class coffee shop. There is also an antiques centre. People want variety ,not the same shops you can find anywhere.

Reply Posted by Robdought on Thursday October 20 2016 at 23:04
You can New build as much of a new town centre as much as you like. You will not attract new or old custom back into Barnsley town shopping centre until you remove the scrounging dirty fouled mouth drunk scum from the town centre.

The large group of vermin are breeding and growing daily.Why would you want to shop and bring your family shopping in the town.

These business might be doing them selves a favour by leaving the sinking ship.


Reply Posted by Rita on Friday October 21 2016 at 12:13
WH Smith could move back onto market hill
This is where they were 70 odd years ago
Market hill is a lovely part of Barnsley put the market stalls back on market hill
I'm sure all the students would use it
I used to buy my Noddy and Big ears books from them
65 years ago
Come on let's make the arcade and market hill a great place to shop again

Reply Posted by Abc on Sunday October 23 2016 at 15:08
Rita - why on earth ( and where ) would WH Smith try to move back onto Market Hill?
Students buy their stationery and order their books a lot more cheaply elsewhere and online. They don't have money to burn at Smiths. A small outlet at or near the station might work.
Is Market Hill a lovely part of Barnsley? I think it is desolate.
I used to work in smiths when it was on Market Hill though, when it was a busy place. I remember going out the back of the shop to cut through to the Arcade especially on a Friday and a Saturday morning and regularly coming across human excrement! So I suppose things have moved on since then, ha!

Reply Posted by Kath on Friday October 21 2016 at 12:17
I was in the Central Library on Wellington Street on Wednesday afternoon. There was just one person looking at books in the whole library! I do hope planning officials reject the plans for a new library when they meet on Tuesday. It will be the biggest waste of our money if they don't; we don't need it. When are they going to see sense?

Reply Posted by Steven James on Saturday October 22 2016 at 08:19
I agree Kath, Libraries are a thing of the past, same thing goes for markets!

Reply Posted by Sad! on Saturday October 22 2016 at 16:04
Why do you say libraries and markets a thing of the past? That's sad. By the same token probably all shops are. You can shop online. Perhaps we don't need a town centre after all, just a load of pubs.

Reply Posted by Steven James on Sunday October 23 2016 at 15:17
I'm sad that you feel sad about my comments sad.
BUT it called progress and no matter what it can not be halted, libraries are definitely a thing of the past and my crystal ball tells me they have 10 years MAX.
Electronic devices will continue to outsell traditional books whether we like it or not.
Same goes for markets, at one time of the day one could get some fantastic bargains on Barnsley market, but cheaper shops like Primark have unfortunately put paid to that.
Wakefield and Sheffield councils saw the writing on the wall and scrapped their markets, BMBC will plough on with their new market and in 20 years it will be derelict. You mark my words!

Reply Posted by Marie Jones on Tuesday October 25 2016 at 10:41
I agree with you.. libraries have other functions besides borrowing and returning library books back,.My local library has a reading book club. a coffee morning club. chidren activities during holiday breaks. an art class etc.....!!

Reply Posted by turbo on Monday October 31 2016 at 19:34
Ooo Marie ..he'll not know about stuff like that cos he's selfish and if he don't need it .. nobody else should have it .. it's the way they've been brought up you know ..

Reply Posted by John P on Saturday October 22 2016 at 11:41
Rita is correct about Market Hill. This side of the town with the Arcade,George Yard and Market Hill could be the jewell for the town.
Experience Barnsley in the TH,the Civic,Cooper gallery,and now the College,how good it would be to develop this area.
It would be ideal for a farmers market on sundays.
Can someone realise the town centre ,as it is,and will be for a few years does not start at the Alhambra centre and finish at Marks and Spencer.Talk to the mainly independent retail people in this area,sure they would willingly come on board and have many ideas.

Reply Posted by Expat on Sunday October 23 2016 at 04:11
Matt I agree with you whole heartedly. It's good that the town is trying to spruce itself up and attract new business. The miners strike was 32 years ago but unfortunately a lot of people are still blaming this along with the Tory government and Barnsley Council or who ever else for the state of the town. Bottom line is Barnsley has the same drug problem as every other town and city in the UK and the world for that matter. However this shouldn't stop the town from wanting to better itself. You can still cater for the die hards, one of which is my mum by keeping the old style cafes but this shouldn't stand in the way of progress in an attempt to attract new business. The Barnsley public need to stop being defeatist and be a little more optimistic. And it is you as a town that keeps voting Labour in so someone must love em !!!

Reply Posted by anon on Sunday October 23 2016 at 18:14
Expat i agree they keep blaming it on something from 32 years ago and no matter what they will keep voting labour because their families always voted Labour.
I must say though that the council are not willing to help the small businesses in town they will see them close first and all the council are bothered about is taking back handers and i am afraid what they are doing now they should have done 20 years ago the town is going to ruin and is in decline and the new plans they have they think people are going to come to barnsley from sheffield wakefield and other towns and cities why would they there is nothing to attract people here , the town is dirty no decent shops or bars

Reply Posted by Gavelar on Monday October 24 2016 at 11:01
Nailed it in the past 2 posts. Still blaming the mines closing for the failings as a council. Germany managed to recover from the second world war in less time.

Problem is the people in the cabinet are trade union dinosaurs who do not have an ounce of business acumen between them.

Add to that no viable opposition and what we have is what you end up with. Council meetings are embarrassing to watch on the live feed. Lot's of back slapping and self praise - I'm sure they wear blinkers.

The amount of public spending waste the cabinet has got away with over the years is scandalous but hey it's only public money right?

I'm still waiting for Sir Steve's investigation results following the doomed Digital Region project whereby South Yorkshire Councils managed to waste 97 million pounds on a project that was not managed effectively. I'd like to know what the councils commitment was in the payback to the EU following the failiure and I'd also like to know whether some of the many at the council that have been made redundant know that had they not wasted so much money some of their jobs may have been made safe.

Barnsley is changing and in the next 10 years we will see unprecedented development on greenbelt land for homes that we apparently need. But because we can't attract businesses the only tax relief BMBC will get is through council tax receipts and not business receipts Leeds and Sheffield will get them and also a good deal of disposable cash as those that have money don't come into Barnsley they shop in the cities as the offer is better.

At best we will be a commuter town and we could be some much more.


Reply Posted by Steven James on Monday October 24 2016 at 11:53
Spot on Gavelar!

"The amount of public spending waste the cabinet has got away with over the years is scandalous but hey it's only public money right?"

Just a few years back "they" (aka the Labour clowns) decided to change all the streetlight bulbs from standard to LED, a "cost cutting measure in times of austerity".

Good eh? £500,000 per annum is not to be sniffed at right?

WHY DIDNT THEY DO THIS BEFORE?

Cos they weren't interested that's why, same goes for a whole raft of other areas where they could have saved MILLIONS OF POUNDS.

The total number of staff employed by BMBC has been slashed in HALF over the last five years, reason for this (so they tell us) "we have to do more with less due to the Tory cuts" but those in the upper echelons of the municipal ivory tower have seen NO CUTS to their OBSCENE salaries, the gravy train continues to rumble on for them without signs of ever derailing.

As for your "houses on greenbelt land" comment, even if they built 30,000 houses at £250K a pop, bringing in say E.G £1500 a year in council tax it will STILL never balance the books as we will still have to pay for the NHS, Schools, Dentists and simply DONT have the road infrastructure to cope with major developments in any way shape or form unless they are smack at the side of an M1 Junction.
Even to a layman and fiscally inept non mathematician such as me can see the wood for the trees but the Labour CLOWNS cant.

There's the other thing, there are vast swathes of former brownfield sites that are RIPE for development and HAVE the road infrastructure to cope with new purpose built facilities (just look at Asos as example) but "they" aka the Labour Clowns simply cant attract the type of businesses in to the town because they simply don't have the education to do so.

Totally agree with the Trade Union Dinosaurs comment, they are well out of their depth, they know it and so do people like you and me.

The unfortunate thing is and I will honestly say this but I sincerely think a large amount of people in this town are ill educated and cant see the wood for the trees and will continually vote Labour cos their forefathers did and being brutally honest are thick as pig sh*t.


Reply Posted by Brian on Monday October 24 2016 at 19:02
Steven James: While I generally agree with your comments, I do not agree with the sentiment expressed in your penultimate paragraph. I do not believe that they feel that they are out of their depth. I think they feel that they are astute business people. How foolish they are.

Reply Posted by Steven James on Monday October 24 2016 at 20:24
Sad but very VERY true Brian.

Reply Posted by Marie Jones on Tuesday October 25 2016 at 10:29
I only hope that WHSmith moves into the Alhambra Centre. Already the WHSmith branches in Rotherham and Retail World are shut..... we don't need anymore to close around here!

Reply Posted by thegrimreaper on Tuesday October 25 2016 at 14:58
All the shops will soon be foreign owned , catering for the polish , rumanians , latvians , afghans , slovakians and a smattering of bulgarians , these people spend there time in the massive factories and emerge over the weekends , they have overun the town , we should re- name this region , any suggestions perhaps ?

Reply Posted by Dave1 on Monday October 31 2016 at 10:24
@matt regarding wh smith its about time this outfit was closed all over the country they take prime spots and charge top wack for everything they sell if yuo dont believe me ask for a packet of crisps

Reply Posted by anon on Monday October 31 2016 at 13:33
The other problem is they think they are going to attract big name shops to barnsley how wrong are they as for companies like ASOS the council give them big discounts on their business rates cos they attract jobe well in fact ASOS advertise in Romania and Poland and bring over these people to work there then get rid if them after a couple of months leaving them to claim benefits and get housing via the council , it is not these peoples fault they want a better life yet are given false hopes by ASOS

Reply Posted by dave1 on Sunday November 6 2016 at 12:10
Labour hates the people of barnsley look around and see all the neglect in our villages they have been abandond royston like all surrounding villages was a nice place to be once but that too as been abandoned nothing int for them I guess what do there voters see in them that i cant are people realy so blind