Published On: Sun, Apr 14th, 2024

UK town set to transform into ‘Singapore’ of the North under new plans | UK | News

An ambitious council in Yorkshire is seeking to take inspiration from a multi-billion-pound development in Singapore to transform an area of a former mining town. 

The local authority in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, is reportedly wanting to mirror the glittering Marina Bay project in the Southeast Asian nation for a new urban green space. 

Barnsley was once a huge coal mining centre for Britain and is still home to the National Union of Mineworkers, famous people from the town include the legendary cricket umpire Dicky Bird. 

Singapore is a super-modern city state famous for the its high-rise buildings, tropical temperatures, strict litter laws and the iconic colonial-era Raffles hotel.

Barnsley councillor Matt O’Neill, executive director for growth and sustainability, told the Barnsley Chronicle the authority plans to attract investment and Singapore is an inspiration, adding: “To attract private investment, you need high quality innovative public realm and this is the model that has been taken to great effect in Singapore.”

He added: “We want the best for our residents and businesses and are looking at international best practice to inform our thinking.”

According to Barnsley Council the plans for town centre around a project called The Seam digital campus which is meant to create a “high-quality urban green space which will further improve the welcome the town centre provides to workers, families and other visitors”.

In Singapore the Marina Bay development and Marina Bay Sands hotel cost around £4.4 billion when it was completed in 2010 and has attracted over 470 million people. 

Despite being one of the world’s smallest countries, Singapore boasts a very high standard of living and the city is one of the cleanest on the planet thanks to litter laws which can see fines for around £240 dished out for discarding chewing gum. 

The enormous Marina Bay complex features a shopping centre, theatre, restaurants and two floating crystal pavilions, as well as the largest atrium casino in the world containing a mind-boggling 1,600 slot machines. 

One of the most iconic structures in the development is the 56-storey-high Sands SkyPark set on top of the hotel which includes a 1,120-foot-long park with a 490-foot-long infinity swimming pool. 

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