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Innovative designs explored for the Seam reshaped Phase 1



Barnsley Council is looking into a bold design for urban green spaces with plans to incorporate digital tree designs in the Seam Reshaped Phase One project.


Drawing inspiration from the iconic Gardens at the Marina Bay in Singapore, the council aims to integrate similar concepts into the transformation of the Seam Digital Campus.


These digital plans would be subject to the funding, planning and suitability within the scheme design. This innovative design harvests rainwater, and feeds the wider greenery at the scheme, which would meet our digital and sustainable campus values aligning to Barnsley’s 2030 vision and ambitions.


Next week, on Wednesday 17 April, Cabinet members will discuss various recommendations for the forthcoming plans, marking an essential phase in the ongoing development of the town's infrastructure and amenities. Recommendations are aimed at bolstering key aspects of the Council Plan, with a particular emphasis on fostering growth, sustainability, and health within the community.


Cabinet members will be asked to approve the delivery of a newly refurbished 300 space car park on lower Seam, including electric vehicle charging, improved lighting and CCTV. Plans will also include the creation of a new urban green space which will serve Town Centre and Seam visitors, including users the Digital Media Centre (DMC) and Barnsley College.


Members will consider Future High Street funding to contribute to repair works to the Alhambra Shopping Centre, as part of the wider Town Centre regeneration.

Members will be asked to approve the implementation Project Management Design Team (PMDT) for the development of the pre-construction design and construction phase of the project.


Matt O’Neil, Executive Director for Growth and Sustainability, said: “If we stand still, the borough’s economy will stand still. Therefore, we have revisited our plans for the Seam and are looking for new ways to become more digital and sustainable. We want the best for our residents and businesses and are looking at international best practice to inform our thinking.  Our ambitions are to be the foremost Technology and Digital leaders in the UK and build upon our leadership position across South Yorkshire. To attract private investment, you need high quality innovative public realm and this is the model that has been taken to great effect in Malaysia." 


“The phase one work will see us make improvements which will bring high quality public realm spaces seen at the Glass Works expand into the digital campus space, as well as improve parking quality, with significant capacity for electric vehicle charging.“We see the Seam as the heart of Barnsley's future economy, leading our ambitions towards a Growing Barnsley that supports tech and digital innovation, building on the success of the DMCs already on the site.


“Phase one is an important step towards the campus space being a place to attract inward investment into phase two on the upper Seam site which is bolstered by the Seam being a key part of the South Yorkshire Investment Zone. Our aim is to enhance our assets that support our existing digital and tech companies, while strengthening the growing reputation for Barnsley as a destination for digital businesses.”


To maintain the vision of the Seam digital campus and commercial led development on the upper Seam car park, plans will be discussed in line with the above recommendations.


Any future definitive proposals for development located on the upper tier of the Seam are subject to further Cabinet approvals. 

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