Record numbers of people visiting Barnsley Museums

Record numbers of people have visited Barnsley Museums between April 2022 and March 2023.

Over 1.9M people visited the five free attractions in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, which is a considerable increase from previous years.

High-quality, cutting-edge exhibitions and events have contributed to the high numbers notably Tut 22: The Life of Tutankhamun, hosted at Experience Barnsley. It attracted almost 60k visitors while on display and was one of the most popular exhibitions in the Museum's history, seeing the highest number of visitors since it opened.

Egyptologist and Guest Curator of the exhibition, Professor Joann Fletcher, said: “Tut 22 has been an incredible project to work on. People’s responses to the exhibition have been wonderful, not just the record-breaking visitor figures with people coming here specifically to see it from as far away as Barcelona and Cairo, but also the comments, feedback, and reviews. It really showcased to the world just how proud people are of our town and the work our museums do. It was a real privilege to be able to bring such a phenomenal display of objects and artefacts back to my hometown Barnsley, all so generously loaned by our colleagues at Bolton Museum whose first curator came from a Barnsley family’.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: “We were delighted to be able to loan those important artefacts to Barnsley Museum and give more visitors a chance to view them.”

The popularity of the museums’ outside spaces such as Cannon Hall Park and Gardens, and Worsbrough Mill Country Park has continued to increase, as people enjoy the stunning Green Flag spaces in both summer and winter months.

Elsecar Heritage Centre has welcomed record numbers who have continued to enjoy its variety of independent shops, boutiques, businesses, and events.

With the price of attractions and days out increasing for families across the UK, Barnsley Museums continue to offer free entry and free activities at all their attractions. It's their goal to provide exciting, cultural activities that are accessible for all, particularly during the current challenging times.

The Museums continue to be ambitious, leading on a variety of projects that takes arts, culture, and heritage out of traditional settings and into the Community. It saw them undertaking an innovative twelve-month project, opening temporary spaces in The Glass Works, Barnsley’s new town centre shopping destination. The project was a huge success welcoming people from across the region.

Jon Finch, Head of Culture and Visitor Economy, said: “Barnsley Museums continue to go from strength to strength, attracting visitors locally, regionally, and nationally. Fabulous places to visit they host a brilliant events and exhibitions programme which has something to suit all ages and interests. Barnsley has a wonderful cultural offer and the Museums, Galleries, theatres, and attractions across the borough make it a top destination to visit.”