TOURISM IN Barnsley is booming thanks to a drive to increase visitor numbers.
The Experience Barnsley museum, which celebrates its first birthday this weekend, has been credited with luring almost three million people to the town’s major attractions in the past 12 months.
An increase in visitor numbers brought £60m to the local economy last year, according to the town council. The boost comes following investment in the town centre, its five key attractions and a publicity drive to promote the borough’s green belt credentials.
Sue Thiedeman, head of culture and visitor economy at Barnsley Council, said: “We are working together with the visitor economy sector to share marketing and create packages that will attract visitors. Barnsley is really well positioned and has a real opportunity to offer a stop over point all the attractions are close to the M1 corridor.
“Barnsley has a lot to offer but one of our biggest problems is lack of awareness and perception. Most people just don’t realise that Barnsley is such a green and beautiful borough, it is actually 80 per cent green belt.
“We are delighted with response to Experience Barnsley and we have an ambitious programme of changing exhibitions and events to keep people engaged and to keep them coming back time and time again.”
In a further testimony to the success, Experience Barnsley, which tells the story of the town through old artefacts, films and recordings donated by local people, is in the running for Britain’s biggest museum award.
Judged by parents, children and grandparents, the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award will select the from a longlist of 20 attractions before the winner is announced in July.