THE most senior civil servant in the country praised Barnsley town centre’s regeneration during her visit on Thursday.

Sarah Healey, the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), is responsible for supporting local government, housing, planning and regeneration nationwide.

The visit included stop-offs at Barnsley College’s sixth form and the Civic before moving on to the Glass Works and Market Kitchen.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton - who guided Sarah through the new-look town centre - spoke about future projects such as Barnsley Youth Choir’s NAVE scheme and a forthcoming ‘youth zone’ which will be part-funded by so-called levelling up cash from the government.

Sarah said: “Our levelling up funding is supporting the council and its local partners to continue impressive work improving the town centre for the whole community./ /

/ “Barnsley Council is transforming the town’s future and it’s fantastic this has been recognised through its impressive haul of awards.”