Eldon Street alleyway gets a new lease of life

Improvement work continues on Eldon Street, as part of the Eldon Street High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ). The next stage of the project will see repairs to a historic alleyway that runs between 60 Eldon Street and Mandela Gardens.

Work includes removing broken tarmac and restoring the historic cobbles below, installing new drainage and laying new paving at the back of the alley, adjacent to the ramp leading to Mandela Gardens.

A number of historic pavement lights will also be repaired, giving the alley back its historic character.

The repair works follow on from the installation of the popular light-based artwork by Patrick Murphy using words by poet laureate Simon Armitage, in the alley last year, which was also funded as part of the HSHAZ.

The alley will be closed to the public throughout the duration of the works, which is due to be completed by the end of March 2023. A temporary compound has been created in Barnsley Civic’s Mandela Gardens, which will also be closed to the public until the works are completed.

The Eldon Street High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) is an exciting 4-year partnership project between Barnsley Council and Historic England. Working closely with local businesses and property owners the project is funding conservation repairs to key historic buildings on the west side of Eldon Street including Barnsley Civic, The Parkway Cinema and other iconic buildings.

The landmark project, Barnsley Civic, formerly the Barnsley Mechanics Institute and Public Hall, is currently undergoing a redevelopment project which includes a new café, bar, and restaurant on the ground and first floor, as well as new flexible office space for businesses and a creative community space for events and workshops. The venue will remain open during the redevelopment work, which started in January and will be completed in time for the opening of the original front doors on Eldon Street in September.

Councillor Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “The HSHAZ is an important part of the town centre regeneration, celebrating the fascinating history of Eldon Street which sits alongside the exciting and vibrant new Glass Works development.  A gateway to the town centre it is wonderful to see buildings repaired and brought back to life.  The reopening of the original entrance of Barnsley Civic will have a huge impact and bring back many fond memories of the well-loved theatre which holds a special place in people’s hearts.”

Nicky Brown from Historic England said: “It’s wonderful to see regeneration of Elton Street taking shape with the redevelopment of the Civic and Parkway Cinema, as well as the restoration of the historic cobbles. We are proud to be working with Barnsley Council through the High Street Heritage Action Zone to help transform Eldon Street in a thriving place for local people and visitors.”  

To find out more about the project visit www.barnsley-museums.com/projects/eldon-street-high-street-heritage-action-zone