Civic receptions and awards

We recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals and groups, and their contribution to community life in Barnsley, through civic receptions and awards.

The most celebrated award is the 'Freedom of the Borough', which honours people born in, living in, or having strong associations with Barnsley. It can also be awarded to individuals who have made a major contribution to local, national, or international life.

Freedom of the Borough is the most important award that we can offer on the town's behalf, and those who receive it become 'Freemen' of Barnsley. In the past, the title of 'Freeman' came with ancient rights and privileges, but it’s now mostly honorary.

Famous Freemen include cricket umpire, Harold Dickie Bird (2000), local fashion guru, Rita Britton (2000), and the Right Honourable Lord Mason of Barnsley (2007).

The borough's two home army regiments - The Light Dragoons and the Yorkshire Regiment - also have the Freedom of the Borough, which means they can parade through the town centre with bayonets fixed and flags flying.

You can nominate someone for the Freedom of the Borough at any time, though it's granted only in very special cases.