Barnsley attracts record numbers of visitors in 2023 after a year full of cultural experiences

It was a booming year for Barnsley in 2023 as a record number of people visited for cultural events and experiences.

Tens of thousands have turned out for blockbuster events like Barnsley’s Big Weekend and the Bright Nights Festival, with a 27.5 per cent increase in visitors for the town’s annual light festival.

Since April, Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens has welcomed over six hundred thousand visitors, up almost 8 per cent from the previous year.

Elsecar Heritage Centre has welcomed an additional one hundred thousand visitors, and our exciting new vision for the site, including a new heritage railway, a new rail college, and an outdoor events area, will make this a premier attraction in the borough.

Tourism in Barnsley continues to go from strength to strength with the overwhelming success of The Glass Works, outstanding attractions like Cannon Hall Farm, Wentworth Castle Gardens, the National Trust’s only South Yorkshire location, and the Barnsley Metrodome, which has recently received over £400,000 worth of funding.

Councillor Robin Franklin, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Our borough has so much to offer, and it’s great to see that so many people agree. I’m delighted that more people than ever before are visiting Barnsley.

“We have so much to offer in terms of shopping, cultural attractions, and events. We don’t have the city status and large attractions that some of our neighbouring areas have - theme parks, arenas, and racecourses but that doesn't hold us back - our visitor figures are increasing rapidly each year.

“Barnsley is thriving, and we have exciting ambitions for the future.”

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