Experience Barnsley, based at Barnsley Town Hall, has seen an average of more than 400 visitors each day, although almost 1,700 people filled the galleries on the first Saturday after its opening on Thursday, June 27.
The museum, which has involved a comprehensive refurbishment of the 1930s town hall and its surroundings, is described as a “heritage hub for the borough”.
While the museum itself tells the history of Barnsley through displays and artefacts – many of which were donated by members of the public – a “Discovery Centre” within the building also gives visitors access to archives containing thousands of maps, photographs and films.
Coun Roy Miller, the cabinet spokesperson for development, environment and culture on Barnsley Council, said yesterday: “People are flocking to see the new museum and having this major new attraction in Barnsley has provided a real boost to the town.
“On Sundays, previously, the town centre was usually quiet, and now people come and enjoy Experience Barnsley, complete with shop and café.”
Experience Barnsley was made possible with around £2.6m of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is also part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
Coun Miller added: “The extra visitor numbers and renewed interest in Barnsley’s history and culture has also benefited the wider town centre, including the markets and surrounding shopping area.”
Whether you’re interested in football, fashion, the borough’s industrial story or how Stone Age ancestors lived, there is something for everyone.”
Experience Barnsley is open from 10am Monday to Saturday and from 11am on Sundays.